The MLA Meme

by Scott McLemee on November 29, 2006

An experiment is underway over at Acephalous to test the velocity at which a meme spreads across the blogal landscape. As Scott Eric Kaufman explains the hypothesis being tested:

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.

I’m not sure where CT fits in this particular schema, though probably we are of the middling sort. Anyway, please check out the rest of SEK’s entry. Here’s that link again.

And if you have a blog — be its traffic high or low — please consider joining the experiment with just the short of (otherwise content-free) entry you are now reading.

Remember, it’s all for Science, albeit of the MLA variety.

{ 2 trackbacks }

Cheryl’s Mewsings » Blog Archive » Measuring Memes
11.29.06 at 3:59 pm
Crooked Timber » » Son of “The MLA Meme.”
12.01.06 at 3:56 pm



tps12 11.29.06 at 1:58 pm

Which poorly designed MLA experiment am I?


Dan Simon 11.29.06 at 3:08 pm

Far more people read my comments on other people’s blogs than read my actual blog. So here’s a link to an interesting experiment…


nnyhav 11.29.06 at 5:07 pm


Scott Eric Kaufman 11.29.06 at 9:09 pm

nnyhav, you’re a saint.


Siva Vaidhyanathan 11.30.06 at 5:11 pm

There is no such thing as a “meme.”


Brian Downey 12.01.06 at 11:56 am

Blogal Landscape? Now you’re just making stuff up.

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