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What's a Meme?

264245_whats_that Lately, several people have asked me, "What's a meme?" The term originated with Richard Dawkins in his book The Selfish Gene. There's a lengthy explanation at Wikipedia.

First of all, it rhymes with theme although I've heard some people pronounce it "mem" like in memory, or me-me like

It's a form of imitation - an idea that spreads from person to person. For bloggers this usually means quizzes, surveys, and questions that people link to and pass around on blogs. They can be interesting and give you insight into the personalities of fellow bloggers. Often people are inclined to participate on the weekends when they have more time.

For example, a meme might be “why do you blog?” You write a post on your site asking and answering the question. Then you “tag” other bloggers that you want to hear from. (This reference to "tag" is like the childhood game of "tag, you're it".) Since most bloggers keep track of links to their site (with RSS feeds) they will see the “tag” and respond on their site with a link back to your site and with links to the other participants.

When you write your post, there is often a blog tag to use that references the meme. By using this tag you can track how the meme has spread at Technorati. (This "tag" refers to Technorati tags - a method of categorizing blog posts.)

The reason most people participate is they get a lot of "link love" and it generates new traffic, some of whom may become regular readers. It's a good way to find new sites to read. Here's a site dedicated to the meme: The Daily Meme.

Have you participated in a good meme lately? Which one?


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Promotional Dude

Thank you for this informative post. I have been cruising blogs on the weekends to try and keep up with changes that are happening so fast. I have heard the term, but never knew what it meant. I subscribed to your blog because of the good info. Thx!

burun estetik

very simple explanation for me to understand.


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So memes are like things on http://remelon.com ?

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