In the past year, memes have grown, evolved, and expanded in reach and usage.  Many of the most viral memes appeared in response to serious issues in politics and business around the country and, in some cases, the world.  News organizations observed the power of memes, discussing their influence as their popularity rose.  The Merriam-Webster Dictionary even included the word in its 2012 Words of the Year list.  But how do memes originate and go viral, and why are memes dominating the Web and popular culture?  Here is an examination of  four of the most popular memes for 2012 to see how they did it.

A Deep Dive Into The Internet Meme

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