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Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

March 28, 2011 at 1:10 PM

Cheezburger memes up, buys NY-based KnowYourMeme.com

Two months after raising $30 million, Seattle-based Cheezburger (the humor network formerly known as Icanhascheezburger.com) spent a chunk of the money buying New York-based Know Your Meme.

Know Your Meme operates a sort of meme-o-pedia – an online reference guide that aggregates and categorizes the ideas or concepts that build up enough online traction to become what’s known as a meme.

Started by Rocketboom founder Andrew Baron, Know Your Meme “is dedicated to giving people an accurate inside look at up-and-coming as well as already viral Internet memes,” according to the release.

“Since Cheezburger is the playground of choice for millions of Internet culture fans, this acquisition is a natural compliment for our community,” Cheezburger Chief Executive Ben Huh said in the release. “Now, in addition to delivering 5 minutes of happiness through I Can Has Cheezburger?, FAIL Blog, Memebase, and The Daily What, we can help the public understand the origins of memes and how content goes viral on the Web.”

Huh told me in January that he planned to buy more companies “that work well within our model.”

Tubefilter News reported that Know Your Meme sold for a “low seven-figure sum,” based on “sources close to the deal.”

Cheezburger spokeswoman Deanna Leung Madden said the company “can’t confirm” the sale price.

The four employees of Know Your Meme are now part of the company’s New York office – “Cheezburger East.”

If you’re still wondering about memes, here’s how the companies define an Internet meme, as opposed to viral content:

An Internet meme is a piece of content or an idea that’s passed from person to person, changing and evolving along the way. A piece of content that is passed from person to person, but does not evolve or change during the transmission process is considered viral content.

Comments | Topics: Cheezburger, Entrepreneurs, Startups

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