NOTE: This experiment is now finished.
This is an experiment in spreading ideas across weblogs using the principles of viral marketing and social networks using a new method for making content more viral, which we call a "GoMeme."
How To Participate
We have created several versions of this meme in the course of the experiment. The latest version is GoMeme version 4.0. It is the most refined version; You should try this one if you are interested in participating.
Basically we are experimenting to see which kinds of conceptual motivations spread memes best. The first test was a survey which was purely altruistic. The second was survey with a selfish motivation -- a path list so the participant benefits. The third used a humorous article as the host for the meme. The last one in the experiment used a "cause" as the host of the meme. Which one will be the most viral? It's also an experiment in the concept of a path list -- which helps blog authors see the extended upstream and downstream paths for things they post or find on their blogs.
The previous versions of the experiement are listed below for your reference:
- GoMeme 1.0 -- Our first test. (The text for GoMeme 1.0 is located below, in this article, after the "Introduction to Gomeme 1.0" heading. This first test spread very rapidly but did not benefit the parties that helped spread it in any particular way.
- GoMeme 2.0 -- A more evolved version. It has the benefit of not only spreading virally but also of rewarding every site that helps spread it with better Google rankings.
- GoMeme 3.0 -- This is the most advanced version, and also the simplest and shortest. We abstracted the essential core of what makes a GoMeme spread and made it possible to attach it to any piece of content on the Web. So now anything can spread in this manner.
- GoMeme 4.0. This version is the latest and most refined of all. It is a very short posting that you can add to your blog. Unlike the earlier versions, it is focused around a cause -- the cause of making blogs more visible! Let's see if having a cause attached to a meme makes it spread more widely.
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Note: The information below is the first version of our GoMeme experiment (GoMeme 1.0) -- it has been replaced by more recent versions that are more sophisticated and that also reward every site that participates with higher Google rankings.
You may also want to read the GoMeme 3.0 FAQ
The most recent version is: GoMeme 4.0
The rest of this article, below, is the body text of the original GoMeme 1.0. This is reproduced for informational purposes only. The experiment is finished, please do not continue it.
This posting is a community experiment that tests how a meme, represented by this blog posting, spreads across blogspace, physical space and time. It will help to show how ideas travel across blogs in space and time and how blogs are connected. It may also help to show which blogs (and aggregation sites) are most influential in the propagation of memes. The dataset from this experiment will be public, and can be located via Google (or Technorati) by doing a search for the GUID for this meme (below).
The original posting for this experiment is located at: Minding the Planet (Permalink: http://novaspivack.typepad.com/nova_spivacks_weblog/2004/08/a_sonar_ping_of.html ) --- results and comments about the experiment appear at that location. (Note: If you want to replace this text version for the link for better formatting in your blog, please do at least include a hotlink back to the original post so that we can see your trackback).
Please join the test by adding your blog (see instructions, below) and inviting your friends to participate -- the more the better. The data from this test will be public and open; others may use it to visualize and study the connectedness of blogspace and the propagation of memes across blogs.
The GUID for this experiment is: as098398298250swg9e (Note: this replaces the longer, original GUID -- listed below -- which didn't format nicely in narrow column layouts. Those sites still using the longer GUID will still be found in the data set).
The above GUID enables anyone to easily search Google or other search engines for all blogs that participate in this experiment, once they have indexed the sites that participate, which may take several days or weeks. To locate the full data set, just search for the any sites that contain either the short GUID (above).
Anyone is free to analyze the data of this experiment. Please publicize your analysis of the data, and/or any comments by adding comments onto the original post (see URL above). (Note: it would be interesting to see a geographic map or a temporal animation, as well as a social network map of the propagation of this meme.)
To participate, follow the instructions, below...
To add your blog to this experiment, copy this entire posting to your blog, and then answer the questions below, substituting your own information, below, where appropriate. Other than answering the questions below, please do not alter the information, layout or format of this post in order to preserve the integrity of the data in this experiment (this will make it easier for searchers and automated bots to find and analyze the results later).
REQUIRED FIELDS (Note: Replace the answers below with your own answers)
(1) I found this experiment at URL: http://www.mindingtheplanet.com
(2) I found it via "Newsreader Software" or "Browsing the Web" or "Searching the Web" or "An E-Mail Message": Browsing the Web
(3) I posted this experiment at URL: http://www.mindingtheplanet.com
(4) I posted this on date (day/month/year): 01/08/04
(5) I posted this at time (24 hour time): 17:50:00
(6) My posting location is (city, state, country): San Francisco, California, USA
OPTIONAL SURVEY FIELDS (Replace the answers below with your own answers):
(7) My blog is hosted by: Typepad
(8) My age is: 35
(9) My gender is: Male
(10) My occupation is: Internet Entrepreneur, Ontologist, Writer
(11) I use the following RSS/Atom reader software: Typepad, FeedDemon
(12) I use the following software to post to my blog: Typepad, Zempt
(13) I have been blogging since (day, month, year): 05/08/03
(14) My web browser is: IE
(15) My operating system is: Windows XP