I’m not going to start going on about SkyNet and other sci-fi movie references but there is a genuine question here if you blogging. How many times have you heard somebody say ‘before I had a mobile phone I was fine without it, but now I can’t live without it’ or have you ever started browsing the Internet without anything to browse for ‘why did come I online?’; I kid you not when I wake up in the morning I kind of crave for my laptop – its a bit like an addiction.
A little bit of history might start us of nicely. Some of you might be aware that Richard Dawkins coined the word ‘meme’ in a booked titled ‘The Selfish Gene (1976)’. A ‘meme’ is:
“A unit of cultural ideas, symbols or practices, which can be transmitted from one mind to another through writing, speech, gestures, rituals or other imitable phenomena”
The important point is that ‘memes’ are evolutionary competitive and use humans as carriers for their survival. You can apply the theories of natural selection to ‘memes’, they either survive or die in the process of variation, mutation, competition and inheritance. In the words of Susan Blackmore ‘All these memes are trying to get copied, using you and me as copying machinery. We are the meme machines’.
I suggest you have a wiki about this subject; there is a lot of information and some great arguments against it too.
Susan Blackmore gave a very interesting TED lecture about ‘memes’ but she introduced a new word ‘temes’. She suggests that some ‘memes’ have become technologically-enhanced and thus become ‘temes’. These temes are making our brains become teme machines, this maybe something to do with why I need my computer so badly in the morning.
Is blogging a teme?
I think the quick rise of blogging is a strange phenomenon, there are loads of ways to spread information but, why has this one become so prevalent? Of course it’s easy and free (nearly) which has a big say in the matter. However, people now blog about blogging, its infectious – how many of you SEO bloggers really want to write the hundredth article on ‘THE TOP 10 BIG MISTAKE IN SEO‘ or ‘HOW CAN YOU IMPROVE TRAFFIC FOR YOUR BLOG?’ I think blogs are using our brains as teme machines – blogs want to be alive and constantly up-dated.
I recently wrote an article about how the English language is being damaged by the Internet. SEO firms suggest that SEO copywriting should be kept readable but simple. Don’t use flowery and elegant language it’s no good for search engines and readers from none English speaking countries (and maybe Americans). Not only is the tradition in literature being forgotten about but its being replaced by new technological language ‘Facebook’, ‘iThis – iThat’, ‘app’, ‘retweet ‘tweetmeme’ etc etc. The world of technology might by taking over our minds – what do you think?
I looked up some blog titles (all published on 01/07/10); ‘Microsoft: Ad Rank on Yahoo and Bing Will Be The Same’, ‘PayPal X Platform Toolkit Available for Google App Engine’ and my favourite ‘PandaLabs Warns of Tabnabbing Phishing Scams’ – ahhhh what does it all mean.
Hands up if you like adverts on websites and blogs; anybody no I didn’t think so. Nowadays everybody is monetising their blogs and websites but everybody hates PPC and banner advertisements. Are PPC and banner advertisements another teme competing to stay alive in the evolution of the Internet.
Next time you write a blog post ask yourself first if you really want to do this.