Seriously, does anyone really think this is going to give anyone any valid information? Enough to warrant a paper? A peer-reviewed paper? With like meaningful statistics and everything?
"Most memes, I'd wager, are only superficially organic: beginning small, they acquire minor prominence among low-traffic blogs before being picked up by a high-traffic one, from which many more low-traffic blogs snatch them. Contra blog-triumphal models of memetic bootstrapping, I believe most memes are—to borrow a term from Daniel Dennett's rebuttal of punctuated equilibrium—"skyhooked" into prominence by high-traffic blogs. "
Don't you just love the social science jargon?
he wants us to disseminate this totally artificial "meme" so he can say something about organic ones? As I just said a couple days ago. Memes are not equivalent to blogging writing prompts that the blogger chooses to use or ignore. The concept of meme comes from the notion of ideas as entities that spread like viruses. Who really has the ability to choose whether or not to become infected with a virus? What makes the whole notion of meme interesting is the lack of meta-knowledge of its spreading. Blog prompts that someone chooses to participate in or are not really memes, but more like fashion trends.
Also, the researcher wistfully regrets not tracking two "memes" in which he participated (or started? not sure.) Why didn't he? Because the very nature of the viral spreading of ideas is that you do not know in advance which ones will spread and which won't.
I read a lot of blogs, too many perhaps. Mostly knitting blogs but not exclusively. And get this, I never heard of those two memes. That supports my position that the spread of this artificial one has no useful information to say about real viral spread of ideas.
Ironically enough, the path upon which I heard of this artificial meme was through someone who profuses a strong dislike to the canned writing prompts that the knit blogging community calls memes. While not immune to actual memes (imo) she has been mostly immune to these artificial ones. And yet she is participating in this one. But get this: she did not follow the rules and actually talk about the project on her blog, she just links to it vaguely. An actual carrier? (But a carrier who chooses to be one, so that's a limitation in the analogy.) That's sorta interesting. But this just proves the artificiality of this "meme" since in real life she would have been the last person to have participated in any such blog writing prompt. So in real life, I possibly never would have heard about this "meme." So for the sake of science, I choose to not participate. No technorati pinging from me.
so... am I participating or not?
Where is Eugene Miya when you need him?