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Monday, 27 November 2006


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Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Measuring The Speed of Meme: An Experiment in which You Will Participate, Or Else...:

» Tag. You're it. from apostropher
Scott Eric Kaufman is measuring the speed at which a meme moves across the ether for a panel at the Modern Language Association. Give a brother a hand already.... [Read More]

» An Academic Chain Letter from Raising WEG
Via BitchPh.D., help for a poor graduate student in desparate circumstances. Scott Eric Kaufman will be presenting a paper as part of a panel about Blogs at the MLA Convention. He's now tracking the speed of a post's transmission from [Read More]

» This is an experiment from Pharyngula
Acephalous is trying to measure the rate of propagation of links across the net. He's asking everyone to link to his post (so this may just be shameless blog-whoring under the guise of doing science), exhort our readers to... [Read More]

» Blog memes from A Blog Around The Clock
Some things spread like wildfire across the blogs. But, can an artificial meme, designed specifically to measure the speed of its spreading, spread as fast? If we know its speed, can we know its position at the same time, and... [Read More]

» Blog Experiment from A Blog Around The Clock
In the similar vein to this morning's post (and the neccessary link within it) on the speed of meme-spreading, I tried to do this little experiment about a year ago (October 12, 2005) with no success - perhaps because I... [Read More]

» this is a test from Dynamics of Cats
Chad spreads contagious concepts. if this were a real meme you would now be getting ideas Acephalus wants data on meme propagation speeds through blogs for the MLA. Read, link and accelerate. Don't want to be a deadender, now... [Read More]

» What is the speed of meme? from The Last Minute Blog
What is the speed of meme? People write in general (typically truimphant) terms about how swiftly a single voice can travel from one side of the internet to the other and back again, but how often does that actually happen? Of those instances, how of... [Read More]

» Meme experiment from Yan Feng
An experiment on how meme is spreaded on the Internet. Help this guy, please. ... [Read More]

» Saturating the blogosphere. from
As PZ Myers says, this could be shameless blog-whoring under the guise of doing science, but Scott Eric Kaufman is doing an experiment over at Acephalous to measure the speed of a meme through the blogosphere. My blogging friends are hereby ordered to ... [Read More]

» Do it for the sake of ... from ***Dave Does the Blog
... Science! (via Les)... [Read More]

» Veloce come un meme from Il Tao dei blog
Gli dono un link in nome della scienza, di cui essendo acefalo è portatore insano. Just kidding! I risultati verranno riportati dallo stesso acephalous al MLA 2006. Se continuate a stupirvi della presenza di esperimenti di questo tipo linkat... [Read More]

» Sunday Sillies from helmintholog
Is that the way the girls are in Texas? According the Houston Press, via Wonkette, a Republican woman running... [Read More]

» Faster than a speeding meme. from Anomalous Data
[Read More]

» Sister can you spare a link? from scribblingwoman
Scott Eric Kaufman as part of a legitimate scientific experiment, mind requests that each and every benighted blogger... [Read More]

» Meme Speed from Modulator
How fast can a meme propagate across The Internets? Acephalous is running a modest experiment to evaluate this question. You can help out!Here's what I need you to do: 1. Write a post linking to this one in which you explain the experiment. (All blogs ... [Read More]

» Short strokes from Flashes of Panic
A few weeks agoI forget the contextI used the phrase short strokes and then had to explain what I meant. (Its a golf metaphor, apparently, and not in wide use; now I cant figure out where I picked it up.)... [Read More]

» Anything for Science from Abnormal Interests
Acephalous is conducting an experiment on the propagation of artificial memes across the internet. To participate, provide a link from your blog to this post on Acephalous. Via Gentleman's C, A Blog Around the Clock, Adventures in Ethics and Science,... [Read More]

» He blinded me with... from Solonor's Ink Well! [ via ***Dave ]... [Read More]

» Experiment from marbelous
Op verzoek een link naar iemand die graag de snelheid van een meme op internet wil meten Als er meer mensen zijn die de wetenschap (of eigenlijk de studenten die zich ermee bezig willen gaan houden) een handje willen helpen, kunnen ze ook een... [Read More]

» Link Propogation Experiment from I Speak of Dreams
Everybody in the pool! Send poor Scott a ping to raise his spirits! [Read More]

» I'm just doing this to be nice from Particles
I'm just doing this to be nice. (via)... [Read More]

» Measuring the Speed of a Meme from Threads from Henry's Web
Acephalous wants to measure the speed of a meme so he can report it at the MLA meeting. Now Well, Im supposed to explain whats going on here, and persuade all my readers to also link to the post, even going so far as to invent sob storie... [Read More]

» Spreading Science from The Authentic Eccentric
Acephalous is doing an interesting study on the speed and spread of memes for the upcoming MLA conference. Hes asking for help artificially spreading a meme so he can dissect and demystify the process. This may just be a fascinating way to gath... [Read More]

» The Speed of Meme from odd time signatures
Heres an interesting experiment via Duncan Rawlinson. Scott Eric Kaufman is tracking the speed at which memes travel for a talk hes giving. The interesting thing about this is that I originally saw the post on Liz blog before I ... [Read More]

» Knitters unleashed .... from Odd Ball Knitting
... see the top paragraph of Norma's posting here, link to this, and then ping technorati. All in the interests of academic research apparently ... but there again, what knitter in her right mind finds that interesting when there's Christmas [Read More]

» Testing Meme Speed from Random Thoughts From Marybeth
From Acephalous: 1. Write a post linking to this one in which you explain the experiment. (All blogs count, be they TypePad, Blogger, MySpace, Facebook, &c.) 2. Ask your readers to do the same. Beg them. Relate sob stories about... [Read More]

» Experiment or Blog-Whoring? from Yet Another Web Site
(via Pharyngula) Short Version: Link to this post in the name of science. Ask others to do the same. Results to be announced during the Meet the Bloggers panel at MLA 2006. OK, Ill play: http://acephalous.typepad.c... [Read More]

» OK... Memes: I Hate Them, But It's For Science from SoapBoxBlog
In the name of SCIENCE! Read the linked post, follow directions, stir and sip by the fire. Carry on smartly.... [Read More]

» I will kiss the girl from Venus ... For Science! from Stephen Laniels Unspecified Bunker
So Chris Young points to an experiment to measure the speed of meme-propagation across the web. It seems valuable. If you have a blog, maybe youd want to link to the experiment and ping Technorati when youre done. You know you want to. [Read More]

» I will kiss the girl from Venus ... For Science! from Stephen Laniels Unspecified Bunker
So Chris Young points to an experiment to measure the speed of meme-propagation across the web. It seems valuable. If you have a blog, maybe youd want to link to the experiment and ping Technorati when youre done. You know you want to. [Read More]

» Memetics experiment from Tim Retout's blog
In the name of science, I have to link to "this cool applied memetics experiment": - and you should too. Oh yes. Why? Because it... [Read More]

» Meme Study from the skwib
Judging by the number of comments this grad students research on meme spread and speed is doing okay, but you can be part of the study if you like. Just go read the post and follow the instructions. Baaaa, baaaa, baaa. ... [Read More]

» Meme, Schmeme from A Matter Of Degree
In the name of science: I heard about it from Miss Print. [Read More]

» Faster Than A Speading Bullet from Slant Truth
Scott over at Acephalous is trying to measure the speed of meme for his talk at this years MLA Conference. He asks that we link to his post and ping Technorati so that he can measure the results. So be kind, help a poor grad student out, and send a pin... [Read More]

» Predicting Meme Speed from Dynamics of Cats
Acephalous is trying to measure meme speeds, but we are theorists, dammit, a model prediction is needed! So what is the asymptotic speed of a free small meme in the wild web?... [Read More]

» Meme speed ahead from House on a Red Corner
or how another nerd helps another nerd helps another nerd helps another nerd..Edit N Place ... [Read More]

» Meme-ing from Julie's Stuff
I rather think, judging from the blogs I've read this morning, that I'm the last person in blog-land to do this. But will that stop me? No.I'm supposed to link here and ping Technorati. And, of course, beg you to do the same.Just as soon [Read More]

» Memes, faster than a speeding bullet. from Hypnogogic
Along my travels on the old en-tarweb, I came across a bonafied attempt at a meme speedometer. Now, for all my 2 readers, please post an entry linking this and begging others to do the same. Candy for all upon successful completion. ... [Read More]

» Meme Experiment from Opiniatrety
Apparently, via Crooked Timber, Scott Eric Kaufman is testing how blogospheric memes propagate by asking people to link this post and, presumably, the blog where we saw the meme. And to ping Technorati, something I've never done before. So, here... [Read More]

» The speed of meme from absent signified
Despite my misgivings, seeing how the MLA is nothing more than a frenzied free-for-all of moral relativism, an over-hyped weekend getaway for all of the Academys radical leftists and homosexual feminists (like a Rainbow Gathering, but with Birke... [Read More]

» Tracking the Speed of An Idea from Academia as an Extreme Sport
This is an interesting idea, tracking ideas flowing around the net. It's for an MLA presentation, so be a good person and go help the poor researchers gather data. The fearless blogger trying this says, People write in general (typically truimphant) ... [Read More]

» Ping ping from Danni's Blog
Some guy here wants to find out how long it takes for a single blog post to go around the internet and blogs. The only way he can do this is by asking people to link and trackback to his post. Anyone who is reading this can go do that (if you havenR... [Read More]

» How Fast Do Memes Propagate Through Blogs? from WPF Community Bloggers
No idea. But Scott Eric Kaufman, a UC Irvine grad student, is performing a little experiment to find [Read More]

» No, No, No... from Random (but not really)
Philosoraptor is wrong. Do this! Push the lever! All the other rats are doing it!... [Read More]

» The magic of blogging from Redshirt Knitting - Erika's Knitting Blog
From Kathleens blog comes the news that a grad student is studying the speed of meme. To participate in the study, just link to his post and ping Technorati (more instructions can be found at the link). Hell be mapping the spread of th... [Read More]

» MemeSpeed from Banana Oil!
A bloke named Scott Kaufman is doing a blogxperiment: 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-t... [Read More]

» Blogging in the name of science from 2020 Hindsight
Measuring the speed of meme. [via Davos Newbies] Help out Acephalous, who wishes to know how much effect a single blog post can have as it crosses the sphere. Acephalous requests: Heres what I need you to do: 1. Write a post linking to... [Read More]

» The speed of a meme experiment from narrating kayoz
Lots to say about small children, holidays in Moss Vale, and my brother's wonderful wedding last weekend (organised brilliantly from afar - California - by his now-wife). But instead here is a link to a meme experiement. How fast does [Read More]

» Delta i ett vetenskapligt experiment! from Det perfekta tomrummet
I old school-sociologi gjorde man ofta experiment, en klassiker är förstås Stanley Milgrams vykortsexperiment från 1967. Men nu lever vi i en tid då andra tekniker kompletterat vykort (även om postsystemet lever vidare, vilket vi här på DPT gä... [Read More]


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Done. I have no clue how this ping thing works, though. You might want to explain it in a li'l more detail.



And in my LJ as well, but I'd prefer not to reveal that username in clear.


A ping! from a typical bottom-feeding Z-list blargh whose owner can't be bothered to craft an actual sentence just now


Hmmm... Presumably you don't really want people who otherwise never post memes on their blogs to post a link to this one. Otherwise it won't reflect the speed and pathway of a real meme, but rather the speed and pathways linking academic bloggers who think research is cool.

Or are you not bothered about that?


good luck.


Think carefully about why a meme spreads: there are two major factors. One is how good/fun the meme is and the other is how many readers read the original blog and how many readers they have in their own networks. You are not controlling for either of these factors. Furthermore, your meme is the blog equivalent of a chain letter, which is annoying as hell. It differs from an actual blog meme in the very important respect that instead of spreading itself via its entertainment value, it spreads itself via an attempt at ethical coercion: "Beg them. Relate sob stories about poor graduate students in desperate circumstances." You're down on the level of a "Microsoft will donate one cent to kids with cancer for every copy of this e-mail it receives" hoax, except hopefully yours won't be successful. Sorry for the flame (not usually prone to those) but I feel strongly that people in the scholarly world should set a good example of clear thinking!! If we can't think, how can we expect our politicians to? This "experiment" is marvel of fuzzy thinking. :P



Z, it seems to me that what really separates this from a chain letter is the passive nature of it. For all the begging SEK, you, or I might do, it's still within our own little worlds. And not by emailing 100 of our closest friends.

I have no idea where the data will lead on this one -- I would have thought it might be useful to know where a linker first saw notice of this, but then the machine might be tallying that automatically. I also note that I didn't follow the instructions exactly -- I'm not going to check, but I wouldn't be surprised if non-compliance of that, or other flavors, is common. Does it screw up the experiment? Well, I don't know, and don't care enough to go back and re-write my linking post.


Hope I help you out. Good luck at MLA.


I would just add that you've got a methodological problem of a different sort: one of your fellow panelists is the defition of a high-traffic blog writer. So instead of starting with low-traffic posts, and waiting for the idea to be "caught," you're starting right at the top.

You should have asked Dr. Bitch to wait a while before posting her link.

Maybe identify two or three ideas that got serious play on big blogs but started on smaller blogs (I have no immediate idea what those would be) and then use Technorati to get incomplete but useful data on the speed of transmission in the past? I bet you're already doing that....


Definition. Definition of a high-traffic blog writer.

Another Damned Medievalist

Done. I don't know whether Technorati will pick me up, though, because I don't have my blogspot settings way out in the open. wrt this meme moving at different rates compared to 'fun' memes -- I suggest you do both. Then you'll have a comparison between 'natural' movement and friend-assisted movement.

G. Tingey

I'm going to try this, but I'm not sure it wil work .... AAAAArrrg h h .......


I'm an extremely low traffic blog, but I did have an effect on a meme which sorta allowed me to see (one leg of probably not many more of) where it traveled. Could you try that to see how fast it goes around? for example, contact every fifth member of your blogroll & ask them to change it somehow when they get it not-from-you?


good luck!


Thought I'd add a ping from a NO traffic blog, mine, which I have ignored for months. Good luck!


This has been done

Jon Moulton

You are linked in my blog:


i added it! poor thing.. hope your circumstances improve :P


Adding mine now. I would have done the meme on Monday, but I teach for basically twelve hours straight so didn't have time.

A White Bear

Yeah, I wonder how accurately this can be measured. Memes are funny things. People link to them because they are entertained by them, but then, after a time, although everyone's still looking at the thing, no one links to it anymore because it's "been done." I don't link to memes because everyone who reads my blog reads higher-traffic people who stay on top of stuff better than I do. Would all of us who are linking to Scott have done so if he had provided some memey content, blisteringly entertaining or not? I would assume most of my readers already read Acephalous, so I wouldn't. I'll be interested to hear your analysis at MLA, Scott.

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