October 03, 2007

Crabby Doesn't Meme To Offend Anyone!

For those of you who don't have blogs, this post may not make any sense at all. Don't worry! There will be another amusing guest post coming soon, and you can always check out the archives or visit one of the great blogs on the Random Rotating Blogroll. But for today--sorry, it's Memes.

So a "Meme" has been defined as "a theoretical unit of cultural information." But for blog purposes, it's just a game, and it works sort of like a chain letter. Someone 'tags' you and you're supposed to write a post about the meme, and then link to other blogs to keep it going.

Crabby tried to do memes for a while. (She even tried to invent her own but failed to get it off the ground). But now she doesn't do them any more.

There are lots of reasons for that, but they're boring so she won't go into them. But once she started saying "no" to very nice people who asked, she wanted to be consistent about it. It wouldn't be fair to say yes to some and no to others.

However, this inflexibility has its downside! A very cool (and very popular) Personal Development Blog has a meme going. Somehow Cranky Fitness got included, even though Crabby's advice on the subject of Personal Development is sometimes so silly one might think her inclusion on the list was meant ironically. Anyway, now she's getting all kinds of meme-related links! Her Technorati rating is being puffed up nicely (though it will crash dramatically again when these links drop off).

She's feeling terribly guilty about this. She has not included the big list of several hundred Personal Development blogs here at Cranky Fitness--yet she's getting all the benefits as if she had played along.

So: apologies to all the Well-Developed Persons who have linked to her!

The least she can do is direct you back to the source. Go to Priscilla Palmer's site, and check out some of the great personal development blogs listed therein. (In return, Crabby promises you she will never mention the word "meme'" here ever again. Or at least not until the next time she needs to apologize for not doing them).

So bloggers, do you do memes on your blogs? And non-blogging readers, have you encountered these things on your favorite blogs and if you have, how do you feel about them. Interesting? Confusing? Do tell!


  1. I'm not crazy about getting tagged, myself. Part of it's the sense one gets that it's a mandatory thing. And part of it is that a lot of these memes have some kind of grounding in pop culture, which I read up on but don't participate in. I often can't even answer the questions in a meaningful way. I then get frustrated and find myself wasting a lot of time on the silly meme that I could be putting to better use writing or taking pictures of my rabbit. :-)

  2. I like memes, but they always ask you to tag N people and I don't have all that many people to tag and I don't want to keep bugging the same N people with memes over and over. When I do respond to a meme, I tend to do the "anyone who reads this, consider yourself tagged" cop-out. :p

  3. I have memed. It was okay. I only do them rarely and only if I can think of something unboring to say.
    Thus my reason for rarely doing them.

  4. Hm. I've just spent about 30 minutes digging into blog memes, which I had never heard about before.

    After all of this digging, I feel like I do when I spend any time in MySpace - that icky, high school time striving for anyone's attention. But then again, why do many people blog?

    I read your blog because I enjoy your humor and attitude. I first learned about you from Jim's blog, which I like because it has real information, like links to research papers. You linked back to your blog in your comments, and voila!

    This is a kind of blog meme network, except being based on liking someone's comments, I find it much more interesting.

    If you have a similar icky feeling as I do about blog memes, I recommend a dose of thoughts about Richard Dawkin's original meaning of "meme". See Dan Dennett's TED lectures on memes.

    (BTW, to anyone reading this comment: if you don't know about TED, I think you're missing one of the gems on the web. Go visit www.ted.com.)

  5. For once, the Bag Lady has nothing to say on this subject. (Shock ripples through the comment section!) Meme sounds very selfish to me,me, but the Bag Lady doesn't know much about the technical aspect of blogging. She just blundered in here one day by accident. (and has been making a nuisance of herself ever since!)

  6. I like doing them because I'm so self-involved that I think everyone wants to learn more about me... muahahahhaha.

    I never directly tag anyone though. Always afraid they'll ignore it and I don't handle rejection so well *sob*

  7. uh, raising hand, hoping Crabby will notice.

    Miss? What's a meme?

  8. I prefer the goofy "units of cultural information" circulating the internet like the lolcats at I Can Has Cheeseburger to the quizzes and lists that usually go around blogs--not because I dislike the quizzes, lists, and whatnot, but because whenever I did them on my personal blog, nobody I tagged answered. Ah, bitter loneliness!

    Fortunately, CoT's Monthly Mouthful feature's turning out better.

  9. I've never been tagged and hope not to. If I were to, and I felt bad about weaseling out, I might just do it and post it in their own comments section rather than make it a post on my blog.

    To me, the purpose of a blog is to post what you want to say, not what others have already just covered inside and out. I dislike the idea of struggling over what to say about something that didn't interest me enough to write about in the first place.

    I have no problem, and quite like the concept of someone posting a tagless meme-like post on their own blog and suggesting that others do likewise, and advise of its location in the comments section of the original poster. That way anyone who wants to play can, and other bloggers feel neither obligated nor left out. I've seen a photography meme like that which i may just do one day.

    I'd much rather see rabbit pics too!

  10. When I'm in a blogging slump (and not just too busy or too overwhelmed with RealLife(tm) to post, a meme gives me something to post about. When the blogging forum first started at AW I had a "Monday Meme" thread and there were some active participants - for a while. It's just hard to keep going.

    I do like the theme days that some bloggers do - Thursday Thirteen or The Cat's Doing the Blog Mondays...

  11. Memes are my way of breaking Blogger's Block ;) And since I rarely get tagged, when I do, I am *happy* LOL But sometimes I tag, sometimes I don't.

    I should probably do one. The blog silence is deafening on my 2 main blogs!

  12. Hey Crabby.

    At the risk of offending someone, I don't like to do meme's on my blog. I think they're about a half-step away from being chain letters. I just know that one day I'm going to get invited to do one and at the end it is going to tell me that if I don't to it and tag 6 other people that something very bad will happen to someone I love.

    I have been tagged on meme's a couple of times, most recently by a very favorite reader of my blog. My solution was to create a personal blog that I don't really publisize and post the answers to the questions on that blog. I did not tag anyone else because 1. nobody knows about said blog, and 2. I wouldn't do that to anyone that I liked ;)

    I did e-mail the person who tagged me and gave them the address of that blog so they could see that I had not ignored them, and once in a blue moon I will even update that blog with a funny story or annecdote that doesn't really fit at my main blog (Half-Fast).

  13. I don't like meme's. blech.

    THey do have a chain letter feel. That said, I'm always flattered when someone tags me...which has only happened once...by Crabby. And I didn't know what I was doing.

    so I'm back to blech.

  14. I always misread the word "meme" as "me me" and since I'm naturally shy and self-effacing (as well as brilliant and incredibly modest), I tend to steer clear of them.

  15. Even though you provided a really nice description, I still don't really get what a meme is. So I'm guessinng I don't have one on my blog. You've got me intrigued, though...

  16. I love the parsing of 'meme' as "me! me!" And I've enjoyed some of the other TED lecture thingies but definitely need to check out the meme lecture.

    I have trouble with blog memes--i feel badly when I do them (for tagging people who may not want to be tagged) and badly when I don't do them (for ignoring very nice people who tag me). But for some blogs they work out great and I often enjoy reading what other people do with them.

    Okay, enough about the damn memes. Can I confess that I'm having total blog withdrawal symptoms? We've been on the road and we're now in Boston staying with some good friends and we're heading out first thing tomorrow for Cape Cod, (a natural home for Crabs and Lobsters) so my internet access may be a bit scant for the next few days. Deep breaths. Must take deep breaths.

    Anyway, thanks again all! And while I'm enjoying my vacation, I'll be glad when I can get my full daily fix of blogging again. I want to answer comments, write posts that are actually "about" something, and visit everyone else's blogs again. In the meantime, thanks so much for bearing with me!

  17. Wow, you have stirred up quite a reaction with this. Obviously, since I started The Personal Development List to begin with - I like memes.

    As a more basic description for your readers I like to think of a meme as a game of tag. Someone writes about a subject and tags one or more people to carry the conversation on. If nothing else it is a great way to get to know others in the blogging community.

    Of course, if the subject of the meme is something you'd rather not participate in, I'd have to say just don't do it.

    That said Crabby thank you for mentioning The Personal Development List. I really do appreciate it. :)

  18. *whispering*
    Just tiptoed back in to say that my lone meme experience was of course BEFORE the no-meme policy...that's all!

  19. I was tagged once, and had to look it up to figure out what it meant. I went along with it because the tag came from someone I know and like, and she was pretty excited about getting tagged. Since I prefer to keep my posts somehow related to running (I don't always make it), I would only be willing to do another one if all of the questions pertained to running. As a reader, I find the meme posts are often not as interesting and funny as the other posts.

  20. I like doing Thursday Thirteen and Wordless Wednesday... but mostly because they give me the freedom to do what I want on them. "Tagging" memes? They can get old fast.


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