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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

"What the heck is that?"

Reader-submitted complaint: I have no idea what a meme is. How am I possibly supposed to participate or appreciate this if you provide no context?


Sorry. I guess I assumed that people knew this.

A meme is an idea that spreads from person to person. Richard Dawkins came up with the term decades ago, but it hasn't really caught on except in a way he couldn't possibly have anticipated. Bloggers take part in Internet memes when they do the same thing other bloggers are doing. The most common way of doing this is to fill in lists about the same thing. For example, people might write seven things they do every day, or three odd facts about themselves. I suppose this is a meme, too, but we didn't think of it that way at the time:

I read a lot of blogs from people who participate in memes, so I guess I just assumed that people know what they are. My apologies, dear readers.


Karen said...

Accepted :) Now, stop blogging and go out there and interact with real people on your vacation.

shaund said...

FWIW, here's a link to a provocative little piece from Wired that proposes that humans are nothing but meme transmitters...and provides some background on what a meme is at the same time.