If you’re interested in internet meme culture—how images, websites, links, video, words, catchphrases, and hasthtags circulate the web to a viral extent— your research will likely include some visits to the Know Your Meme database.
Know Your Meme is a dotcom site that can be initially overwhelming because there are so many moving parts to it–forums, episodes, and blogs, not to mention ads. Started in December of 2008, the site’s purpose is to catalog and track trending memes on the web. Any meme that is registered (they can be uploaded by anyone but there is a research and evaluation process that follows) will be archived and findable through the website’s search engine. Even memes that are rejected by the editorial staff have a place in the “Deadpool” (how about that for a dissertation). To date there are 1,959 confirmed meme entries.
The look of the site varies, depending on the quality of the deposited memes; if the images or videos are pixilated or on the small size that’s how they remain in the database.