This posting is the FAQ and introduction for a new, improved, second-generation meme experiment that is designed to spread faster and more broadly than the first meme experiment. We call this kind of meme a "GoMeme" (pronounced Go-Meem), because it is a meme that is designed to Go. The actual GoMeme, which you can add to your Website is located, here. Before you do this, please read this FAQ so you know how it works.
This new GoMeme is better than the first design because it's more beneficial to you to participate. Why? Because by participating in this GoMeme, you may be able to raise the Google rank and visibility of your blog. In other words, this GoMeme rewards your blog for hosting it.
In a nutshell, by following the instructions below, your blog will be linked from every other blog that discovers this GoMeme downstream from your blog. And that will raise your Google rankings.
How well does it work? Well, in the first experiment, www.mindingtheplanet.net, made it from not being in the list, all the way up to the number 3 position in the www.daypop.com Top 40 blogs index in just 2 days, even beating Matt Drudge, the New York Times, John Kerry, numerous cool movie trailers, and many other hot topics of the day. Now, in this new experiment, everyone can benefit in a similar way, by leveraging the power of their social networks. For instructions, keep reading...
This new version is also shorter and easier to participate in. For starters, you don't have to copy all of this text into your blog, you just need the text from the "Copy This GoMeme From This Line" heading below to the end.
Is this Good or Evil?
Before we go much further, let's clear up one burning question you might have: Is this evil? No, in fact it's good, it's altruistic and grassroots -- you are helping to promote your friends' weblogs, while pioneering the use of memes for marketing and pushing the envelope of how Weblogs and social networks can be used. Is this GoMeme a chain-letter? No, it is not a chain-letter, although it may seem like one at first glance. Chain letters are mailed to people, usually without the recipients asking for them. This GoMeme is voluntarily posted by you on your weblog and then voluntarily read and voluntarily spread by your visitors. It is really a vector for an idea -- and for your weblog -- just like any Weblog posting in fact. (Note: We do not condone chain-letters!)
What is a GoMeme?
So what is this GoMeme thing then? It is a new way to help your friends and get helped by them. It is a new way to grow your blogroll (the list of blogs that you link to from your blog) and a new way to get your blog listed in the blogrolls of other blogs in your social network. By participating in this GoMeme, you, and everyone in your social network, can then get higher Google rankings. Think of it as a much smarter social-network-based blogrolling community. You could actually use this beyond just Weblogs -- you could use it to promote any site, or anything in fact. But Weblogs are the perfect medium because they are a form of "social software" -- they naturally spread ideas, that's the whole point of Weblogs.
You may also wonder, what is the actual "meme" being spread by this GoMeme? Well, looking at it one way, it is this entire posting. Looking at it another way, there are many memes within this posting, such as the concept of a "GoMeme" and the many other ideas here, the concept of growing a blogroll via a social network, and the concept of a blog, all of which are memes in their own right --- and your weblog URL could soon be one of these memes, if you participate.
A Collaborative, Distributed, Emergent Blogroll
This GoMeme is effectively a collaborative, distributed, emergent blogroll. It is no different really than any blogroll (any list of other blogs you add to your blog) -- it just forms in a different way. Instead of you adding all the links to it, your social network adds them and then you add yours at the end and send it on to others in your social network. There's no top-down control or guidance of the process. Every blog that participates is equal. Nobody knows what the result of this experiment will be.
Why Are We Doing This?
OK, so why are we doing this? The short answer is, "Because we can!!!" But seriously, we're also doing this because it is an interesting way to generate a dataset that we and others may study to analyze how ideas move across social relationships on the Web, and how communities can emerge and self-organize. It's fun and it's research, and anyway, it's harmless and it helps bloggers get better visibility, so we figured we'd just try it and just see what happens! We hope you'll join us!
How Does it Work?
Just follow the instructions to fill out your blog's answers to the GoMeme survey and add your blog's URL to the "PATH LIST" at the bottom of the GoMeme. The path list is the history of all the blogs that the meme traveled through to reach you. The last URL before yours in the path list should be the URL for the blog you discovered the GoMeme on. By adding your URL after it, your blog URL becomes part of the path for the GoMeme.
Everyone who gets the GoMeme downstream from you will then include your URL on their blog. And by doing that, they are in effect linking to your blog from their blog, which in turn raises your blog's Google rank. By posting this GoMeme to your blog, you help raise the rankings of every blog in the path before yours, and every blog that later posts it as a result of your blog is then helping to raise your Google ranking. Kinda cool, huh?
Can Your Blog Out-Rank the A-List Blogs?
If the new GoMeme design works as we hypothesize it might, it could help a lot of lesser known blogs get better rankings than even the "A-List" blogs. In other words, it's kind of like unionizing to beat the big guys. There is strength in numbers, after all. Let's see if this works! If it does work, we should find lots of lesser-known blogs that participate in this experiment appearing in the "top lists" of the major blog indexes. Who knows, maybe we can even take over the top lists? For some proof, just look at the results of the first meme experiment which launched the Minding The Planet weblog to the number 3 slot of the Daypop Top 40 blog posting index in just two days! Who knows, maybe it will be your blog up there next?
OK, so do you want to add your Weblog to the GoMeme experiment??? Great, then Get the GoMeme!