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Nick Segar: The Man Behind the Memes

When Nick Segar came to Indiana University in the fall of 2011, the 19 year old from Carmel, IN was hopeful about his freshman year at IU. As a sports marketing major he had a full class schedule ahead of him, but at IU we always make time for fun, right?

What Segar didn't know was that soon, he'd end up being one of the most popular kids on campus. His friend Nick Janicki came up with the idea to create an IU Memes Page for Indiana University. When Janicki realized he needed help coming up with ideas and managing the page, he asked Segar to become an administrator. And the rest is history...

HCIU: First of all, can you tell us what a “meme” is?
NICK SEGAR: I have no idea where the term “meme” came from. In my opinion, a meme is an idea, or imitation of what you believe the image is portraying.

(profile picture by William Riggins)

HCIU: A lot of schools have meme’s pages, right? Why did IU need one?
NS: IU students had a lot of opinions and creative ideas they wanted to share with their friends and peers. So, all we did was create a place where students could interact with one another. Share ideas, create memes, and enjoy the similarities we see on campus everyday.

HCIU: How many “likes” did the page have in 24 hours? Were you shocked?
NS: First 24 hrs was around 4,000 I'd say. It really took off in the beginning and got a ton of  'likes' early on which was very surprising

HCIU: Why do you think the page is so popular not only among our student body, but peaks the interest of students from other universities as well?
NS: I believe the page is so popular because it reaches students on a personal level. For instance, most of us have the same reaction when Cody Zeller walks through Gresham Cafeteria. Or, when IU crushes Purdue in basketball, we all feel a sense of pride in Indiana University.

(meme by Nick Segar)

HCIU: What are essential parts of a good meme post?
NS: A good meme post reaches a large audience. It has to be creative and humorous enough that the majority of people who see the meme will find it funny and be inclined to ‘like’ it.

HCIU: How do you decide which memes to feature?
: We feature memes that we feel will reach students on a personal level. We like to choose memes that strike a positive emotion in the viewer.

HCIU: What is it like to be part of something so popular?
It’s exciting to know we created a sense of involvement in the University. Almost 14,000 people clicked ‘like’ on the actual page. I’m sure more people know about the page. I know it comes up in conversations around campus, and I know there is usually laughter involved and it’s nice to know we played a little part in that.

HCIU: We feel like there’s an outpour of memes onto the site right after an intense basketball game (or other big event), is it kind of exciting to see what people are going to come up with?
It’s a lot of fun and usually pleasantly surprising to see how creative people get with the memes. For instance, when IU beat Purdue we wanted to find the best and most creative memes people submitted and the results were hilarious. We posted five of the best memes and over two thousand people liked them.

(meme by Phil Holden)

HCIU: Have any of the people that the memes target contacted you… whether it was negative or positive?
No one has contacted me in regards to a negative or positive meme. I think they realize it is all in good fun and there is no direct harm intended. We try our best to monitor the memes and make sure no one crosses the line between good fun and being harsh.

HCIU: What’s the best part of this whole thing? And the worst part?
: The best part of this whole thing is when random people come up and talk to you expressing their gratitude for making them laugh everyday.  The worst part is definitely deleting the Purdue comments on our page.

(meme by Sara Kinney)

HCIU: Do you have a favorite meme?
Oh gosh, there are too many to choose from. I usually like the memes right after a big event. Everyone saw the event, so most people will feel connected to the meme and appreciate its humor and creativeness.

HCIU would like to thank Nick Segar and Nick Janicki for taking time to do an interview with us. We'd also like to give a special shout out to Nick Janicki for being the original mastermind behind the IU Memes Page. Find IU Memes on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/IUBmemes?ref=ts&__adt=7

Courtney Kabbes is a junior at Indiana University. She is majoring in journalism with a concentration in apparel merchandising. When she's not busy updating Her Campus IU and promoting their site, she works as the Vice President of Social Media for the Retail Studies Organization and Ed2010 at Indiana. Some of her favorite things include shopping, mint chocolate chip ice cream, New York City, Bikram yoga, and spending time with her two favorite people: her mother and sister. Did we forget to mention her slight obsession with Pinterest? www.pinterest.com/ckabbes
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