What is better than scrolling through your Insta timeline and finding Hanze-related memes? Exactly: nothing. And now it’s easy, thanks to two ICT students!
Anyone looking for a break from the tough life that Hanze gives you can find it in the newly established Hanzememes Instagram page. A new incarnation of the old subreddit r/hanzememes; a refuge for the comedians out there on the digital highway.
ICT students Isaac het Lam and Coen Visser have taken their cue from NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences, where memes about degree programmes, the school and lecturers have been in circulation for some time. ‘Our subreddit was mostly aimed at our ICT programme. Everyone had the opportunity to make their own memes that poked fun at the programme, lecturers and Hanze.’
Fine line between funny and insulting
The Reddit system is designed to allow everyone to post whatever they like. Coen explained that this caused problems at times. ‘There would be memes posted about lecturers, who did not appreciate them one bit. Well, in that case we would simply delete them. We try to remove offensive content as quickly as possible; it’s supposed to be a friendly place.’
‘Moderating is a lot easier on Instagram because we are the only ones authorised to post’
Isaac added: ‘Racism is out of the question, just like any other abusive post. Moderating is a lot easier on Instagram because we are the only ones authorised to post. People can send us memes in a DM and we personally decide whether they are suitable for the page or not. Plus, we have noticed that Instagram is much more accessible and consequently there is more traffic. That makes it all the more important for the content posted to be moderated properly.’
Realtime study association
The gentlemen got acquainted during an administrative year at Realtime, the study association for Hanze students interested in ICT. It was not really a secret to either faculty or students that both were involved in the Hanzememes subreddit and Insta. ‘We were regularly approached about it. Sometimes it was a bit nerve-racking because obviously we could not always be responsible for all of the content posted to Reddit. Things are a lot safer now with Instagram.’
‘More followers than Stenden’s meme page. If we accomplish that, then we will be satisfied’
So far, there are no major plans for the future. The Instagram page reached 1,000 followers this week, and is still growing steadily. In the early days, Reddit spent 500 dollars on a marketing budget, and soon Reddit stickers had popped up all over the US. Coen and Isaac are following the same playbook: during the writing of this article, a logo was in the works and a lot of thought was being put into the production and distribution of a number of eye-catching stickers. In addition, the gentlemen have set just one modest goal for the future: ‘More followers than Stenden’s meme page. If we accomplish that, then we will be satisfied.’