Put everything down and get out your number 2 pencils and a clean sheet of paper. It’s your first pop quiz of the year. Memes come and memes go but before we meme ourselves into submission let’s see if anyone was paying attention to any of the previous ones.
Update: The person with the most correct guesses will win a sponsorship on the China Search Marketing Tour, event partner of Search Engine Strategies. For every person you match to what they said or who they tagged first, you get a point. So get guessing and pay attention to those memes! If you want to write your own questions about a meme on your blog then this would be a metameme.
A meme, in case you don’t know, is “a unit of cultural transmission, or a unit of imitation” as defined by Richard Dawkins in The Selfish Gene (1976). Richard was a zoologist and evolutionary scientist by the way. And no, that’s not a typo, it was indeed thirty years ago. I haven’t heard the word meme mentioned much since then but it’s all meme all the time on the blogosphere.
Now I’m not a meme-theorists by any means and I don’t understand “variation, mutation, competition, and “inheritance” nor how they “influence their replicative success”. But I do know memes flourish in the social media world and memes are here to stay. You can put it down to what those meme theorists call, memetic copying which means “to copy behaviour from observing other humans”. Other species that can memetic copy besides us humans, are chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans, dolphins and birds. Memetic copying in birds for example is when the young bird learns to sing from their parents.
The best description I found was by Susan Blackmore in this interview in response to the question about the life cycle of a meme.
Denis Failly – “How birth and spread of the ideas, are there any specific emerging conditions for a Meme, a kind of life cycle ?”
Susan Blackmore – “Any meme that can get copied will get copied. So the world is full of the successful memes – the rest having simply died away. There are countless ways in which memes can emerge. Every time you speak a new sentence that is a potential meme that might, or might not, get passed on. Your brain is a vast melting pot for memes and can easily put together old memes in new combinations to make new ones. This means that there is constantly a creative evolutionary process going on inside your head and between you and the people you communicate with.
Some memes have long life-cycles. Plato’s Republic is a memeplex (group of memes that get passed on together) that first emerged thousands of years ago, was widely circulated, then nearly died out, and was later revived many times. Then it was translated into different languages and spread all over the world by modern technological meme machines.Other memes have short life cycles. A piece of gossip you heard and passed on to your neighbour may go no further and simply die out there.”
This pop quiz is about the meme “5 things you didn’t know about me”. Were you paying attention? I do know Solo SEO was paying attention, just look at their The Blog Tag Tree. Nice job guys, you really took it to another level.
If you were paying attention, what did you learn? This is not an open internet quiz by the way, you know, like an open book quiz. See how many you can get right without looking them up. Just match the name to what they said and who they tagged and leave it in the comments. Example; Andy Beal 1b or Lisa Barone 5e.
You’ll also notice there are more names than there are statements or list of who they tagged. Only the names that have both a statement and list of people they tagged are correct. You didn’t think this was going to be easy did you?
Who said what?
1. I’ve had conversations with Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky. Not at the same time though…
2. Most people would never know I worked for several years for oil company lobbyists, as well as several Republican lobbying firms, plus the PA Dept. of Treasury
3. I’ve recently gotten very good at Ping Pong, although I’m nowhere close to as good as these guys.
5. When I think of my little brother, my eyes well up. He goes to college in Pennsylvania and I only get to see him during Christmas. He’s my heart.
7. I’ve been asked to STOP singing Karoke in no less than 5 countries so far (Canada, US, China, Japan and Korea).
8. Dachshunds are the coolest dogs in the world!
9. My favorite sport is football – especially LSU football. In my family, we were raised from birth to be LSU footballs fans.
10. I played intramural football at the Univ. of WA my senior year and was team captain.
11. I started my career as a hardware engineer, designing PC Boards for Loran C Transmitters (the navigation systems everyone used before GPS).
12.On a restless note — I love to drive. One summer I actually drove by myself from Seattle to Northern California, then on to Michigan and then back via the Dakotas to Seattle.
13. I collect anything to do with pirates, I have for nearly 15 years now.
14. I own a set of turntables that I mix and scratch hip-hop and breakbeat music on just for fun (sample). “stuntdubl” was my “basement dj name” for music long before it was my online seo alter ego.
15. In 1999 I produced and directed the feature length documentary film “Tramps Like Us, The Music and Meaning of Bruce Springsteen”.
Who did they tag?
d. Cameron, Neil and Rand have all been tagged already. I don’t see that SEOFangirl has been though. Neither has Rebecca from SEOmoz. I dont know if Rand is going to let Rebecca post a tag reply though, considering how much they are working on trying to reduce the noise, but she is definitely one of my favorite writers.
h. Yeah, Lisa, I’m dying to know what the asterisks mean as well! And Kim, I also saw that sentence in mybloglog stats yesterday, and was asking people why in the world someone would search for that. Now I know why, and I feel so much better!
i. Tagged no one
j. Hmmm – time to tag. How about Tamarof 10e20 (Techipedia is her personal blog), Greg of GoodROI, Brian of Copyblogger, TallTroll and incrediBILL. Not sure which of those have been “tagged” already or want to participate but I would be interested to see each of their responses.
l. OK now to tag 5 others: David Wallace, Eric Enge, Debra Mastaler, Joe Dolson and since no one tagged him yet – Danny Sullivan, however if I missed that someone has, I’ll tag my fellow Eagles fan, Aussie Webmaster.
m. So my attempts to tag some people: Michael Jensen, author of the blog tag tree, Philipp Lenssen, of Google Blogoscoped, David Temple, of SEO SEM Training & Certification, Vanessa Fox, of Google Webmaster Central, and that’s about all I can think of right now …
n. I’m going to make this a little difficult and tag:
Jim Boykin, Greg Boser, Todd Friesen, Aaron Wall, and see if we can get Matt Cutts to admit he was like James Bond at the NSA
Added: After digging around on some sites – three of my tags have already been tagged, so I’d like to call out Cameron, Jarrod, and Mike.
Put your answers in the comments and I’ll produce the answer sheet by Jan 30th and determine who got the most correct answers.
Bonus question 1, what does the * next to two of the names mean?
Bonus question 2, who said “I don’t own a TV (and no, I only have 2 kids, and yes, they do moan about the lack from time to time!)” and tagged “Being new to the blogging game, I’m not sure how many of bloggers I know or read will be up to this, but in case you are… James Enck, Ian Hay, Henk Kleynhans, Mike Stopforth, Avinash Kaushik … you’re “it”! Hint: His name is not on the list at the top but is first on another list).