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Summary: Text From Dog, Dogshaming, Awkward Family Photos

Text From Dog is a Tumblr site created by October Jones offering screenshots of text message conversations between October and his dog, Dog. Topics are generally dog-related (chasing balls, postmen, etc.) and frequently involve Dog’s alter-ego Batdog. The texts use a minimal amount of chatspeak, and frequently involve swearing. The site doesn’t accept outside submissions, so the amount of content is fairly limited relative to other memes.

Last year, Text From Dog received a book deal from publisher Headline, producing a physical book full of screenshots of exclusive text message conversations on vaguely iPod-ish shapes. A video series has also been produced for YouTube, animating a cartoon character and his dog sitting around sending text messages to each other. It’s about as exciting as that sounds.

 
Dogshaming was originally created when Pascale Lemire and fiancé Mike LeBlanc found their dog chewing a pair of boxers under the bed. Clearly, as any pet owner knows, the punishment is to take a picture of your dog looking fairly ashamed, with a note positioned beside the dog (and hopefully the destroyed object) detailing the dog’s crime to further his/her embarrassment.

In order for your dog to make it on Dogshaming, you have to make sure that you’re not only following the tropes of Dogshaming memes (again, positioning your dog looking ashamed, with a sign detailing his/her crime(s)), but also the rules as decided by Dogshaming (don’t worry – lolcat speak is fine, but be warned – pictures of pets with dead animals will not be tolerated).

 

Awkward Family Photos was began by two friends, Mike and Doug, who were inspired to create the blog by one of Mike’s family photographs, and the accompanying realization that “there were probably plenty of other people out there with their own awkward family images” (“Our Story”). The site now receives traffic and submissions from around the world, featuring a plethora of images of families posing in matching outfits, in front of hilarious blue-screens, and in mind-boggling poses.

The popularity of the site has spawned several commercial and social ventures. In addition to the obligatory AFP App on the iTunes store, there is also an official board game associated with the project. 2010 also saw the publication of the first Awkward Family Photos book, which lists Mike and Doug as ‘authors’ and markets itself based on a universalizing promise that readers can “take comfort in knowing we are not alone” (“The AFP Book”) in being embarrassed by our families.

 
Works Cited

 

“Our Story.” Awkward Family Photos. Awkward Family Photos, 2013. Web. 1 March 2013.

“The AFP Book.” Awkward Family Photos. Awkward Family Photos, 2013. Web. 1 March 2013.

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