By now, it’s pretty clear there’s a real business in the hocking of internet culture. And when it comes to the business of documenting—and merchandising—the latest memes bubbling up from the internet’s underbelly and straight into pop culture, I Can Has Cheezburger is at the top of the pile. The company runs dozens of sites like Fail Blog, The Daily What and LOLmart which chronicle even the briefest, most obscure internet phenomena.
So when a web series births a spin-off web series—and ultimately a sizable online catalog—dedicated to dissecting the evolution of the now thousands of memes, you can bet Cheezburger took notice. Now today, we have learned from sources familiar with the deal, that Cheezburger Networks has acquired Know Your Meme for a low seven-figure sum.
This deal clearly benefits both of them quite a bit. But, does it really make sense for a media company to continue to manage what is essentially a review show for it’s own products? On one hand, they’re literally producing memes with engines like FAILblog and icanhascheezburger, and on the other, commenting on and cataloguing them? I think “Know Your Meme” benefits from having some critical distance from the trends they report on.
I hope Ben Huh gives them ample autonomy, or the spark could die out real quick.