First- a meme is one of those ever popular picutes on Facebook or Pinterest that has words added. Sometimes they have a quote from somebody awesome, sometimes advice or words that get people angry. It doesn't really matter what they say but a meme is a graphic with words superimposed onto it. Wiki actually says that a meme is an "idea that spreads from person to person." Facebook truly is a great vehicle for this kind of social spread of ideas.
So, how do you make a meme?
Well, if I can do it, then YOU can do it!
(Maybe you are wondering why I, a natural birth nut and definitely NOT a computer expert is telling you how to do this. I have no idea how to do proper graphic design or anything of the sort. Well, I make memes occasionally for my Facebook page and people love or hate them. Sometimes people tell me that they hate them and that I should "do them differently" or "say such and such" or not be "so offensive". Well, personally I think I can say whatever I darn well please in my own friggin' meme, but IF you would like to say what you want to say in a meme, here is your tutorial and you can stop telling me what to do. Do it yourself.)
Can you tell that I am being more honest and censoring myself less on my blog? I am prepared for people to hate my guts.
Step 1 (How to make a meme)-
Find a graphic!
A meme requires a graphic. You can use your own picture if you are a photographer. (You always want to use something that is LEGAL for you to use. Don't steal other people's stuff.) I however, am not a photographer.
There are places online where you can buy graphics but I have no cash and I don't care about memes that much so I use free ones.
I like www.morguefile.com so I go there and click on "free photos" and up pops a beautiful display of dozens of photos. Morguefile is searchable too so you can type in what you are looking for and find a specific type of picture. (There are other free places to get pictures that are available for use and not copyrighted. Look around but be careful.)
Let's say we want a picture of a banana. If I search morguefile.com for "banana" I get this lovely page. (Click here.)
Now pick which one you want, click on it and then download it. (I always download to my desktop). Let's say that I pick THIS banana picture-
|My banana picture!|
I like this graphic for a meme for a few reasons- 1) it isn't "busy" so I know that my words will show up nicely and be clearly seen. 2) the background is white, again, black or dark font will be easily visible.
Step 2 - How to add writing to your meme-
So a picture is a picture but a meme SAYS something. How do you add words to your legal picture? You need some kind of editing program. If you have awesome software you can do great stuff from your computer with them. I don't have awesome software so I use free stuff off the internet. I used to use Picasa which is nice and has some awesome features. It did however keep crashing my computer and eventually stopped working altogether. Since I am not good with computers I couldn't figure that out. Now, when I alter a meme I use fotoflexer.com and I love it. It is free, it has some nice features, and you can store everything online so it doesn't load up your computer.
Go to fotoflexer and click on "upload photo" on the main page. (Or you can click on where you want to load the photo from if you have it stored somewhere other than your desktop). Fotoflexer will take a moment to load.
Once fotoflexer has loaded click on "upload" again and choose where you want to find that picture. Then wait for it to load to the program.
Once you have loaded your picture you will have a screen that shows your uploaded picture and it will look something like this (if you are using fotoflexer):
You will notice a bunch of tabs that you can click on to alter your image. There are a lot of things you can do, most of which I don't do very often. But if you just want to add words to you graphic, click on the third tab labeled "decorate".
Once you click on "decorate" your screen will give you a few options. The second one is "Text" and has a big "T". Click on that and you will have a text box pop up.
Your screen will now look something like this:
The little dash box is where your text will appear. You can make it bigger or move as you desire. You will type in the box above that conveniently says "type text here". To the right you can see a "text options" screen where you can choose fonts and colors for your written words.
Type in what you desire in the font you have chosen and then voila! A meme!
Here is some text I added to my banana picture:
But of course, if you want to share your meme on Facebook or Pinterest and you want people to know that YOU, Mrs Awesome, made it then you need to tag it with your name or website or something. Just click on the "T" icon again and add another text box.
Now when you are done all you have to do is save your picture to your desktop and put on Facebook or wherever you please. (Or you can save directly to another social media platform if you desire.)
Wasn't that easy?!
I have a confession- I actually HATE memes.
Yes. I hate them. Why, you might ask?
I believe that memes are a sign of the last days of civilization as we know it, proof positive that we are actually regressing and getting dumber. People don't want to actually read 10 paragraphs about a subject- NO- that would take too much time! Just give it to me in one sentence snippets with a big shiny picture! Just like Sesame Street! Where's Big Bird?!
Yes, memes are stupid and short and then I make them and people complain about how I didn't cover XYZ and how the meme isn't the whole story and didn't discuss all the "options" that people have. (I mean my gosh- some women like APPLES and HATE bananas! Bananas give them migraines! Down with the BANANA!)
But if you want to stay current with social media and you want to use social media to promote your page or to simply reach more people and get people thinking- then you have to use memes. They reach people, they get them thinking, they start discussions. Is it always pretty? No. Do they cover all your options? No. But if people were willing to actually invest 10 minutes of their time into reading then they wouldn't be necessary. I would much rather people read my blog- but they don't have the time for actual thought processes and READING.
Whatever. I adapt. Adapt or die.
And now you too can annoy your friends and associates with colorful snippets of good or bad advice. Tread softly and carry a big stick!
Good luck on your meme making journey! May the fairy dust be with you!
(If you are wondering what the finished product looked like, I deleted it. It was dumb and I forgot to save it. Sorry. Here is one I DO like!)