Thoughts on a meme

I’ve taken part in a few memes in my time (please don’t judge me), which are basically chain letters, or their more developed cousin, the chain email.  I’ve been trying hard not to do the current "Five Things" meme that’s been going around like wildfire.

Blogosphere meme’s are, essentially, an act of "active" SEO, a way of increasing the amount of incoming links to your blog/website through community involvement, rather than the use of strategically placed words.  Yes that’s simplified but stick with me.

Up till now I’ve been "tagged" by Mitch (check out the comments for my five which I won’t repeat here), Leona, Richard, Doug and Joscelyn, my favourite PR Girl.  Guys, thanks very much for the links and for thinking about me, but I’m going to have to be a grinch and pass on this one.

Memes are very self-serving and I know that if I was reading a slew of blogs all tagging each other with a pretty mindless chain and no-one was thinking about "me", I’d be pissed off.  And I’m all about the inclusivity.

So, to counter that, if you’re reading this and would like to introduce yourself, please either shoot me an email or leave a comment with your "five things no-one knows about you".  If you’ve been "lurking", why not jump on in and introduce yourself.

I’d be especially interested to hear from long time aussie reader, Prue Robson and a couple of other people who I can see read me through their public bloglines account.  People like "manukulb", "dexxirblog" and "Chesterg1".

Doctor Jones has the best post title for this thing which is "Meme-a Mia" which fits in nicely to the Abba theme I’ve been rocking.  Do not ask him for medical advice.

The miscellaneous admin is this –

How do you like the new theme I’m using – "white as milk"?  It’s very clean with a lot of lovely white space and the links are now in the left hand column… which should be easier for you to read.

I’ve also (finally) gotten around to changing my employer logo to the iStudio logo.

I’m on holiday from Monday at 5:30pm.  I’ll be in Calgary with the in-laws-to-be and probably doing something akin to pro-blogging for the next week.

Happy Chanukah to you all!

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9 Responses to Thoughts on a meme

  1. Ed Lee says:

    “Though if I did look abroad I would quickly add Ed and Owen”

  2. Joscelyn says:

    I’ll forgive you for not playing along since you called me your “favorite” PRGirl. Well played.
    Incidentally, I do agree with you about memes. I just think it’s a good way to fill a post if you’re having some writer’s block. Plus, how else would we ever know that Chris was once a ballerina? That’s worth it, if you ask me!

  3. Lisa Walker says:

    Hi Ed. I don’t mind the ‘five things’ concept. The idea of finding out ‘things you don’t know about me’ in various iterations has been used for decades in networking. We have a version we use with new staff on our intranet, and I’ve seen it used many times at business gatherings including new client meetings. I don’t think people have necessarily been doing it to increase links and traffic. My version of it didn’t get any more or less than usual. I genuinely enjoy reading everyone’s five things, and because there are so many people I deal with in the blogosphere whom I have never met, it’s even more interesting to me here than in real life.

    I think static email chain letters are about as different from these ‘five things’ as you can get.

    The way you describe memes, such as ‘memes are very self-serving’, refers to them in a somewhat narrow sense, but I’m guessing you’re just referring to this one particular category rather than assuming these things are the definition of memes?

  4. It was a tactic used in University lectures a lot so everyone could get ot know eachother. “tell us 5 interesting things about yourself”. People are surprisingly modest.

  5. Ed Lee says:

    hey Lisa,

    thanks for dropping by and yes, I should’ve said that “memes like this” are self serving throughout the post, not just in the up front part when i referred to them as “blogosphere memes”, thanks for correcting my oversight.

    i have to, however, disagree with you about the incoming links thing though. you’re tagging five other people who, if they respond will be, through blogging etiquette, required to reference, and link to, the person who tagged them. Ergo, more incoming links. TED.

    looking through your last five posts, the only two with trackbacks showing are the five things post and your second life casecamp write up (Lisa’s been kind enough to provide a link to this – just click on her name). so it seems as if this post did rather better than the average?

    my point was that these things are hardly inclusive, being limited to those with a blog and who are actively involved in a community. just reading dave jones’ post lamenting the fact he hadn’t been tagged yet made me think of other up and coming PR bloggers who are sitting at their admin panels just waiting to unleash their secrets.

    and what about your readers? shouldn’t they have the chance to join the conversation as well? as we all know, people (like myself) need to be explicitly asked to offer their opinion, especially when everyone else’s are being drowned out by the blogosphere shouting matches…

    as for the concept, i preferred the “five social media tools” and the “five favourite youtube videos” more…


  6. Lisa Walker says:

    Hey Ed,
    Two things:
    1) You said, “I…disagree with you about the incoming links thing…”.
    I think you misread my comment. I was giving an alternate reason why people, including myself, might participate. I’m not saying the increase in links isn’t also a consequence. As it happens, my traffic for my ‘five things’ post is the second lowest of my five blog posts this month, despite having the same number of trackbacks as the SL CC write-up, but that wasn’t my point.
    2) I don’t want to argue semantics with you and bore your readers, and I do get that you were talking specifically about these ‘chain letter’ type memes – even when you referred to ‘blogosphere memes’ or described memes ‘as essentially chain letters.’ Any meme can live in the blogosphere. The only reason I brought it up is that I’ve noticed people using the general word meme to specifically describe the ‘five things’ concept. However, I do get the spirit of your reference to them, despite the wording.

  7. Ed Lee says:

    one last word on this – my heart sinks everytime i click on a feed to read “blog tag, I’m it’ or something to that effect…

    sorry. i’m a grinch.

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