UGC and Remix Culture: Influence of Online Meme – Entertainment at it Best

10 August, by Can Mai Hong Ngoc

Have you ever go online just to see some funny pictures to have some laugh after one terrible day? I did that a lot, and still do until now.

These recent years, with the rapid development of social media, Internet users, especially the young generation, can seek for a variety of entertainment tools. One of those I want to focus today is the online memes, which is one of the most popular and influential media content that created by the Internet users themselves.








Arandilla (2011) explained that Internet memes are mostly jokes floating around the virtual communities, visualized by funny images or videos, but have a truly high speed of spreading. Some people might think that these pictures are naturally ‘useless’, or are created by people that have nothing to do in real life, but actually the more people use the Internet, the more influence that memes can have on them.

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Some memes are just stay the same, only the text appear on it changes, as many and many people re-adapt them, modify, and create their own ones to have some fun.


The netizens also have no limitation in using images, even the nude ones, or the ones with famous people on them. For instance, even American President Barack Obama’s image is used as an illustration for some certain kind of joke.

Yeo (2011) stated that it can be easy for us to dismiss memes as ‘merely for entertainment’, but we cannot deny that memes can catch our attention right immediately. Davis (2011) even stressed that Internet memes can somehow construct, frame, and reveal cultural realities. As the more people exposed to certain kind of ideas, the higher possibility those ideas become norm and be accepted.



In a global scale, there are several websites that are dedicated to this particular topic. 9GAG, which refers to an online platform in which all Internet users can share, upload funny images, videos and texts, to have fun together, is an example. 9GAG had more than 67 million unique visitors and more than 2 billions page views up until March 2012 (Gannes 2012). Along with Reddit, Digg and 4chan, 9GAG are one of the most popular user-generated content websites that focuses on memes-sharing in the world. In Vietnam, there is also a website called Haivl, with the same purpose of helping people to get some laugh as this is the source for lots of creative and funny memes.

As entertainment is a crucial part of our lives, it is not a surprise to witness the boom of online memes and its high speed of spreading. Despite the fact that some people can criticize memes as a ‘waste of time’ to see, its impact and potential on shaping human humor and ideology is undeniable. Also, online memes once again strengthen the idea of User-generated Content empowering Internet users to influence others by their creativity, even though that creativity coming from modifying, remixing and redesign what have been existed.

Word Count: 505



Arandilla, R 2011, ‘The Power of Internet Memes And A Lot Of Fun Along The Way’, 1st Web Designer, n.d, viewed 8 August 2014, <>

Yeo, A 2011, ‘You and Meme: Why Memes matter’, Tech in Asia, 14 January, viewed 8 August 2014, <>

Davis, J 2011, ‘Internet Memes: The Mythology of Augmented Society’, The Society Pages, 6 December, viewed 8 August 2014, <>

Gannes, L 2012, ‘Meet 9GAG, the Community Comedy Site That’s Growing Like Crazy’, All Things D, 12 April, viewed 8 August 2014, <>

VP Fun World 2014, ‘Most Popular Memes of all Time’, image, n.d, viewed 8 August 2014, <>

Pretty Cool Pics 2014, ‘Funniest Celebrity Meme’, image, n.d, viewed 8 August 2014, <>

Ridley, R 2010, ‘Internet Memes’, Science Focus, 26 August, viewed 8 August 2014, <>


Remix Culture: A new Form of Creativity

August 10, by Can Mai Hong Ngoc

You heard some good songs on the Internet. You mix them up, modify the beat, and create a quite awesome new piece of music. The questions are, are you the one who truly generated that media content? Is that your own creativity? ‘Yes’ can be the answer.

In a world that every information can be shared and exchanged so widely, the border of ‘mine’ and ‘yours’ is also significantly blurred to some extent. Remix culture, in which the amateur creators seems to dominate the professional ones, to mix, modify or mashup the original materials to create something new from their own innovation (Jessell 2013), is the start of the discussion. According to Hernandez and Seneviratne (2010), remixing has given the web the ability to empower the creation of new knowledge, culture and trends. Even though there are some debate on the issue of who actually owns these materials, it cannot deny that the born of remix culture has provided Internet users much more choices in terms of media content.

Looking at the music industry, where remix has become so popular that nobody can seem to stop its growth, we see a huge number of remix songs that are recognized and loved by the public.

The original songs appeared in this Pop Danthology 2013 can belong to Maroon 5, Christina Anguilera, Carly Rae Jepsen, Florida, etc., but the remix is still belong to its creator, Daniel Kim. In these cases, the large proportion of the online world population thinks it is perfectly fine to have remixes like this, and it is not something considered ‘illegal’. Ingram (2011) also stated that remix culture has become a norm in which people now accept and enjoy the remix content just like the original ones. Remix is also a type of creativity, even though the components that constitute it might be existed already. Ferguson (2012) claimed in his book ‘Everything is a Remix” that by adopting remix, we are conceiving creativity in a new way.

Indeed, we can see the presence of remix in anywhere. For instance, the music played in bars, pubs or even coffee shops we usually go to, are some kind of remix one, especially in the clubs. The remix people are also recognized as ‘remix artists’, which mean that this culture is nothing bad that needs to be opposed to.

However, remix has its limit. If you claim that every material in your remix is originally yours, then it is going to be a totally different story. The copyright law is there for a reason, and you, being creative by mixing, modifying or transforming the existed elements created by other producers, still need to deal with it.

We are living in a ‘remix world’ where all materials can be renewed, reformed or re-idealized so naturally, and the boom of the virtual world even facilitate the growth of this trend more. Accepting remix as a new type of creativity is easily understandable, and people who create good remix content, should still get recognition for what they have produced.

Word Count: 513


Hernandez, A & Seneviratne, O, ‘Remix Culture on the Web: A Survey of Content Reuse on Different User-Generated Content Websites’, MIT University, viewed 8 August 2014, <>

Ingram, M 2011, ‘Copyright and remix culture: The new Prohibition?’, Gigaom, 12 December, 8 August 2014, <>

Jessell, M 2013, ‘Remix Culture: Rethinking What We Call Original Content’, Marketing Land, 30 April, viewed 8 August 2014, <>

Ferguson, K 2012, ‘Embrace the Remix’, Ted Talk, 14 August, viewed 8 August 2014, <>



User Generated Content and Youtube: From Your Room to the World

July 18, 2014 by Can Mai Hong Ngoc

On a beautiful day, you make a cover of one of your favorite song yourself from the corner of your bed room, with a basic laptop, a USB mic and then upload it to Youtube. You keep doing so, and suddenly one day, you realize that all the people in the town know your name, your face and your singing. If you did really excellent covers, or really terrible ones, the impact might even be bigger than that.


Not many people in the world who can have access to the Internet, are not familiar with Justin Bieber, either you like him or not. He is one typical example of how we, as normal users of the Internet, can become famous, or at least, recognized, through Youtube, a user-generated content (UGC) website. Internet users now are empowered much more compared to what they were in the past: they can become both consumers and producers at the same time, thanks to the born of UGC. So how exactly can we connect to the world and show them who we are, from our small room at home? UGC, or CMG (consumer-generated content), refers to ‘any materials created and uploaded to the Internet by non- media professionals’, or the ordinary users of the Internet (IAB 2008). Either it is an entry on your personal blog, a profile on your Facebook page, or a video that you record yourself uploaded on Youtube, it is all called a UGC. Let take Youtube as the main focused example of how UGC have changed the whole media world in this topic. According to Bullas (2012), 60 hours of video get uploaded on Youtube every minute, with 4 billions of video are watched everyday, across 54 languages. There are more shocking numbers of how popular Youtube is, and the spread of its impact is really significant.


Back to the case of Bieber, he began his journey to become a global pop star as a young boy love singing and covering popular songs from his own room, then uploaded them to Youtube. At that time, no one can imagine that he could get as famous as he is at the moment. Thanks to the boom of UGC concept, and the wide use of Youtube, many young people like Bieber, now can share and express their passion and talent, or even just hobbies, to the whole world to see, and some can even get recognition from that.


In a much more interesting and ironic way, one ordinary Vietnamese farmer named Nguyen Duc Hau (in online world he is called Le Roi), have become nationally popular with his covers, even though his voice is literally terrible. The guy just has a big love for singing, and the way he confidently and innocently sing the songs, make the public like him. Some of the listeners use him as a joke, but some others truly find his songs entertaining, in a good way. Despite the fact that there are contradictory comments on the surprising fame that Le Roi get, we cannot deny the power of UGC and the spread of Youtube in this situation.


In today’s era, UGC and Youtube as the example, is not only used to randomly share your hobby anymore, but it can be an effective tool in advertising, PR, education and many other aspects of our life (Kim 2012). In brief, the nature of UGC has empowered us, the ordinary consumers, to freely express ourselves, to the degree that does not violate anything relating to the copyright issue. That is how it allows us to share and connect to the world, in such a new way.

Word Count: 617


Reference List

Bullas, J 2012, ‘35 Mind Numbing YouTube Facts, Figures and Statistics – Infographic’, Jeff Bullas, 23 May, viewed 17 July 2014, <>

Daniel, C 2012, ‘How Did Justin Bieber become Famous?’, Brand Brand, March 23, viewed 17 July 2014, <;

Interactive Advertising Bureau 2008, ‘IAB Platform Status Report:User Generated Content, Social Media, and Advertising — An Overview’, IAB, viewed July 17 2014, <>

Kim, J 2012, ‘The institutionalization of YouTube: From user-generatedcontent to professionally generated content’, Media, Culture & Society Journal, vol. 34, no. 1, pp. 53-67.

Reference Pictures

Niallmcnulty 2013, ‘Time Person of the Year’, image, n.d, viewed 17 July 2014, <;
Sbomag 2013, ‘Justin Bieber First Video on Youtube’, image, n.d, viewed 17 Juley 2014, <;
Thanhnien 2014, ‘Lệ Rơi’, image, 4 July, viewed 17 July 2014, <;pvd0e632d48f3c8afe&gt;