If you’d like to make a meaningful contribution to society and share your expert advice, consider starting a blog; otherwise, make a meme. The Internet loves memes. The humble meme – a term originally coined in 1976 by evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins referring to a social behaviour that’s passed on through genetics – has now come to mean a short message overlayed on a familiar graphic, the central theme of which is strengthened with each re-telling.
If you ever wished you too could create a meme to get your 10 words of cultural wisdom out to millions, then read on – I have the perfect desktop app for you.
Warning: This entire article is full of terrible memes that I made using this app. You have been warned!
Once an Internet meme is born, it is copied by thousands, the most successful interpretations of which have a day or so of glory on the front page of 9gag or Reddit (and a subsequent resurgence when they are reposted as fresh content 3 months later).
In the past, if you wanted to make your own meme, you either needed some seriously elite Photoshop skills and the patience to track down the original photograph of said meme; or you needed to jump online to either MemeGenerator or MemeCrunch. Since I hate so-called “web apps” (give me websites on the Internet, please) this version from the MemeCrunch guys is much appreciated – and it’s completely free. There’s also a mobile version of this available for iOS and Android [No longer available] if you’re interested, though I haven’t tested it.
Make a Meme!
Start by grabbing the app from the desktop App Store. Here’s the interface you’ll see on launch.
On the left side, you’ll various ways to drill down the base memes; popular shows you trending images, new are the most recent. Custom allows you to upload your own image – great for those pioneering souls among you who are willing to accept the most difficult challenge the Internet generation has ever known – creating original content. Saved is a “memebox” where you can put all your own creations.
Pick an image to use from the list, then enter your message into the two text boxes on the bottom. You can safely change the image at any time, and your message will remain. You have controls for font size, and can disable all-caps and change justification (though I’d suggest leaving those at default unless you wish to defy the meme gods).
Share & Save Your Amazing Meme
When you’re done, if you wish to save to the app library, just hit CMD-S. Note that the “Save Image” button on the toolbar will export to a file, and NOT save to the library. This is some strange UX behaviour. Forget the button, hit CMD-S instead, and your meme will be saved and editable in future.
There’s also some superb sharing options built right into the app; one click and your meme is automatically uploaded to memecruch, and the correct submission form is opened immediately for you. There’s never been an easier way to spam memes to your Facebook friends!
I’m not sure why you’re still reading this and not out there making some memes already, passing your cultural knowledge on in the form of short, and often grammatically incorrect sentences; but whatever. It’s a great little app, and it’s free.
One thing missing from it though is some good examples of the memes actually in use; even a happening young hipster like me can’t possibly be expected to know what the precise theme of every meme is, so it would be nice to have some “this is how it’s done properly” examples, thereby alleviating the stressful problem of inappropriate memeage.
I would tell you to post any problems you have in the comments, but c’mon – it makes memes – how much help do you need?
Have fun – and if you appreciate me telling you about this awesome app, considering tweeting or +1ing it to your friends; I’d really like that.