Skip to main content

Digital Folklore Project

Digital Folklore Project


The Digital Folklore Project (DFP) is a virtual research and tracking center hosted by Utah State University's Department of English, Folklore Program, and Fife Folklore Archives in the Merrill-Cazier Library. The DFP tracks digital folklore trends (such as urban legends, Internet memes, hashtags, vines, and other trending items) on an annual basis. The DFP is dedicated to the documentation and study of this influential and growing cultural form. It creates digital depositories of this online lore and makes its annual findings publicly available regarding the most significant types of digital folklore for the calendar year.

Research Team

The Digital Folklore Project's Research Team is made up of graduate students at Utah State University. While the DFP enthusiastically crowdsources materials from all over the world (encouraging both professional and amateur digital ethnographers to tweet about trends they've spotted using the hashtag #DigitalTrendOfTheYear), the Research Team performs the core of both field research and ballot preparation for the Digital Trend Of the Year competition. The research team tweets regularly and draws up monthly field notes about their observations, notes that will be preserved along with the twitter feeds in the archival holdings of the Fife Folklore Archives at USU. Through these efforts, the DFP hopes to preserve and present to researchers an on-the-ground perspective on digital everyday life through time. At the end of the year, the Research Team is responsible for preparing the ballot that the distinguished panelists will use to vote and comment on the nominees for the Digital Trend of the Year. The Research Team is the heart of the DFP; their efforts shape our ongoing understanding of our digital experience

2018 Digital Trend of the Year

See the press release regarding the 2018 winners

2017 Digital Trend of the Year

See the press release regarding the 2017 winners

2016 Digital Trend of the Year

See the press release regarding the 2016 winner: Creepy Clowns.