Friday, March 14, 2008

The Rather Complicated Logic Of Memeing and Rememeing

So we are well clear of February Is No Meme Month, which means standard meme rules apply.

Dr. Zaius has tagged me with a "Six Word Memoir" meme that Freida Bee previously tagged me with and I answered here.

In certain cases I could simply provide a link to my original completion of the meme as a comment on Zaius' post which tagged me, saying "I did it [link to my original post]here[/link]".

However, due to a confluence of events, this is not appropriate, and I must redo the meme to satisfy the informal rules set forth by meme-governing bodies.

Please allow me to explain.

I recently started my own meme, one which I am not entirely proud of, but, well, here it is.

It's a really terrible meme, where I simply do the "Name Game" song on different blogger's names, and say they in turn have to do the "Name Game" song on their own set of bloggers, etc. Zaius recently completed the Name Game meme here (he had been one of the people I tagged).

I want to compare the Name Game and the Six Word Memoir memes, but first let's break down the standard attributes of a generic meme:

Relevance - Does the meme make sense to the tagged person? For example, a movie-related meme assigned to a blogger who frequently discusses movies would have a high Relevance, while a gardening meme to the same person would have a low Relevance.

Efficiency - How much is required of the tagged blogger to satisfy the meme requirements? If the taggee can easily complete the meme with little to no effort or time, we call this a high Efficiency meme. If much work/time is required, this is a meme of low Efficiency.

Positive Effect - What will the outcome for the completion of this meme be? Will interesting facts be revealed? Will a work of art emerge? This is more subjective, but I would argue that different memes have different degrees of Positive Effect.

I use a 100 point system on each attribute. The attributes are added together to give you the total meme score (TMS). The higher the TMS, the more compelled the taggee should feel to complete a meme. So, a TMS of 300 is a *must complete*, while a TMS of 75 should elicit from a tagged blogger, "yeah, well, if I'm bored and I don't have anything better to do, I'll take a crack at it."

An important modifier: One thing we must keep in mind is that the number of times a person is tagged with a meme factors into the TMS. Simply divide the sum of the three attributes by the number of times someone has been tagged for a particular meme to get the adjusted TMS.

The Six Word Memoir
Relevance: 78
Efficiency: 77
Positive Effect: 79
TMS: 235

Relevance: The Six Word Memoir is actually pretty nice for a meme. A bloggers' business is writing, and this writing represents his or her unique worldview. Asking people to reduce their worldview to a small number of words forces the taggee to consider this worldview, and attempt to distill its essence.

Efficiency: Despite the fact that the meme prompts the blogger to think a bit, it's still a very efficient meme. Only six words are required -- no downloading/uploading of images, no required long-winded answers to complex questions.

Positive Effect: This meme also has a nice chance for Positive Effect. Perhaps as a result of this the blogger will learn something about what makes them tick. Also, readers of the blog will learn a little more about the person behind the blog.

The Name Game
Relevance: 24
Efficiency: 80
Positive Effect: 12
TMS: 116

Relevance: The Name Game meme is something every blogger dreads to get tagged with. It is essentially a forwarded chain letter that you have been asked to perpetuate. The Relevance score is slightly mitigated by the fact that Name Game itself is actually not an unpleasant song to sing, and bloggers might not have considered how their name actually sounds when "name-gamed".

Efficiency: Name Game actually edges out Six Word Memoir for Efficiency, as all the tagged blogger need do is copy and paste a block of text, and replace one name with another.

Positive Effect: There is little to no positive effect for this meme. The world will not be any better a place to know how a blogger's name will sound name-gamed.

Clearly, the Six Word Memoir is a far more interesting and important meme than the Name Game. However, remember that this is the second time I have been tagged with Six Word Memoir, which requires us to divide the TMS by two.

The final breakdown is:

Adjusted Six Word Memoir TMS: 117.5
Name Game TMS: 116

As you can see, even a twice-tagged Six Word Memoir has a higher TMS than the Name Game.

As it is now, I am slightly in meme debt to Dr. Zaius. So, I will complete his tag to satisfy this debt.


Here you go, Dr Z.

My (Second) Six Word Memoir:

Indulges In Wacky Unfounded Theories Occasionally


Dr. Zaius said...

Ha! I think that you are buttering up your statistics! I jam just curious, What was the margarine of error?

p0nk said...

nowhere in your TMS do you factor in if taggee is a hot chick. Using your current categories and scale, 'hot chick' factor should be worth about 400 TMS points, enough to override all other factors combined.

Freida Bee said...

I suppose the efficiency rating may be decreased when an entire system is developed which then necessitates explanation, unless... you write this rating system down once and can then link back to it (as can others) innumerable times.

nice one on the memoir.

Freida Bee said...

oh, yeah- I was tagged twice by the 6 worde for statistical interest.

Comrade Kevin said...

*laughs so hard*

Oh, my sides hurt. :)

Randal Graves said...

You should teach a class on this, because I'm sure you've merely scratched the surface of these internets phenomena.

And it may be a terrible meme, but we did it anyway. What does that say about us! The ghost of Pavlov haunts us all.

Fran said...

Numbers lie! Or are you just another management hack, the kind I was supposed to be during my corporate career- one obsessed with efficiencies and so forth.

What's next- best practices? Six Sygma blogging?

My head hurts.

Dale said...

Your analysis is worth at least $3.50. :-)

Distributorcap said...

the algorithm had an error in line 343 of the code..