You hear it all the time. “Kids today don’t read.” “They are always on their computers or smart phones.” “All they consume is junk.” Well what happens when that “junk” is a mixture of pop culture and some of the great ideas in modern history? The results are often side-splitting.
Take one of the originals, the Twitter account Kim Kierkegaardashian (@kimkierkagaardashian), a brilliant blend of tweets by pop culture fixture Kim Kardashian and the insighful musings of Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard. The results are disjointed tweets that reflectively poke fun at the shallow over-sharing that has become a part of our digital identity – all played out on one of the most popular social networks.
For some of us, this account might be old news. The latest merger to pop onto our Twitter feeds and Facebook walls is a bit less scathing, adding a modern digital element to the beautiful poetry of Pablo Neruda. How? With cats, of course (the Internet loves cats). With Neruda Cats, the creator takes photos of cats and inserts phrases and short quotes from Neruda’s poetry in a meme-like format resulting in touching, digestible morsels of poetry, on Tumblr, another social network.
The key takeaway isn’t that Neruda and cats are great (we know they are, cats especially). More interesting is the way the Internet is allowing us to blend the two — the high-brow and the low — to produce highly engaging content. If delivered in a creative, digestible manner, the combination can actually lead consumers to relevant and culturally significant information.
Furthermore, this type of content lends itself to SEO, massive click through rates, and the conversion of two different audience segments. In a way, we are adding a whole new layer to the original work, making it our own, and seeking out new meaning. And really, what could be more academic than that?
Photo Credit: Fan Pop