Not All Shareworthy Images & Text Are Destined to Become Memes

Jul 24, 2015 | Featured Posts by Holly Jahangiri, Photography, Writing

We all want to “create a meme” or “publish viral content.” But it’s like creating “literary classics.” You don’t create “literary classics”; you write great stories and hope they stand the test of time. You hope that people like them enough to share them. You hope that a lot of people like them enough to share them with all their friends, who will, in turn, share with all their friends.

But you don’t just “create a meme.” And using a meme generator is just piggybacking off someone else’s successful humor. You create images, add text, and hope it resonates with viewers and motivates them to share.

All advertisers hope you’ll share, too, but promotional graphics aren’t necessarily memes, either. Case in point:

I hope you think it’s cute or funny enough to share (and I’m paying Crystal kitty in tuna royalties – that’s my sister in law’s cat up there, so it’s okay if you want to break my heart, but this is her first modeling gig, so please share). The QR code does work if you open the original image full size, but the link’s in the Tweet just in case.

Of course the caption’s a play on the click-bait headlines like, “She Put This Ordinary Potato into the Dispose-All, but What Happened Next Will Make Your Toes Curl and Your Head Explode.” And what cat could ever understand a little girl like Irma, who thinks she’d rather have a dog than a few tasty–er, good little guppies?

Irma learns a thing or two about guppies (things Crystal might never have the patience to appreciate), and maybe readers (both young and old) will learn something new, too, in A Puppy, Not a Guppy. I hope you’ll check it out!


Holly Jahangiri is the author of Trockle, illustrated by Jordan Vinyard; A Puppy, Not a Guppy, illustrated by Ryan Shaw; and the newest release: A New Leaf for Lyle, illustrated by Carrie Salazar. She draws inspiration from her family, from her own childhood adventures (some of which only happened in her overactive imagination), and from readers both young and young-at-heart. She lives in Houston, Texas, with her husband, J.J., whose love and encouragement make writing books twice the fun.


  1. Rummuser

    I am stuck on puppy because puppy is stuck on me!
    Rummuser recently posted…New Rules.My Profile

    • HollyJahangiri

      Well, now, THERE’s an interesting visual! (I have this sudden image of you, covered in velcro and poodles.)

  2. Janice Wald

    Hi Holly!
    I agree you don’t create classics. You hope a post will go viral. However, I think there are criteria that would make a post be more disposed to going viral. Thanks for the article.
    Janice Wald recently posted…In Need of Reblog MaterialMy Profile

    • HollyJahangiri

      I agree! Just as there are criteria that would make a book or a work of art more disposed to becoming true “classics” one day. But we can only set our goals, do the work, give it our best shot – then release the thing and let the audience decide. We can beg a little along the way, too, if we’re of a mind to – but ultimately, that’s not going to make anything “go viral,” either. It may help give it a bit of a boost by exposing it, at launch, to a larger potential fan base, but those are the only people who can really turn a spark into a wildfire.
      HollyJahangiri recently posted…Not All Shareworthy Images & Text Are Destined to Become MemesMy Profile

    • Holly Jahangiri

      Oh, yes! Button Dance! Party time! It’s been too long. Far, far too long since we had a party of full-on fun and silliness and button dancing! Thank you, Marian! I will see to it that Crystal is richly rewarded. (She is SUCH a ham, too – seems to like posing for the camera. Sibling Prue is far less interested…)
      Holly Jahangiri recently posted…Facebook Creativity ChallengeMy Profile

  3. Mia

    Agreed, they’re definitely not all share-worthy or worth creating in the first place. In the early days, they were witty and funny. But now, they’re everywhere and it is just the worst.

    I do like the Crystal kitty one though 🙂
    Mia recently posted…Would You Rather …?My Profile

  4. Janice Wald

    Hi Holly,
    Things look different here at your site. Are you self-hosting now or did you just change themes?
    Janice Wald recently posted…In Need of Reblog MaterialMy Profile

    • HollyJahangiri

      That’s interesting, Janice. I haven’t changed a thing (my theme is a self-tweaked version of Elegant Themes “Bold,” and I haven’t changed it since 2013; I’ve been self-hosted for many years). I may have used more variety in featured images, but I’m not even sure I’ve done that! In any case, I hope you like it!
      HollyJahangiri recently posted…Not All Shareworthy Images & Text Are Destined to Become MemesMy Profile



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