Meme migration from Fark and Memepool May 20, 2001 12:49 PM   Subscribe

Would some of you old-timers care to talk about the phenomenon of "Meme-Migration"? Seems like lately I've been seeing a bunch of Fark pointers showing up as contribs 6-24hrs later in here; appears to be lifting whole blocks of pointers from wiredpress; Memepool links pop up here, there, and everywhere; and on occasion, I see our stuff show up in places 8-48hrs after posting. Has it always been this way, or is this the evility of the much vaunted 'New Wave' of Meta-citizenship? And is it any loss of value? Fark tends to be a pretzels-and-beer local bar VS. Metafilter's MENSA meetings.
posted by Perigee to MetaFilter-Related at 12:49 PM (16 comments total)

do the passionate posts in the Kaycee thread not give you hope for MeFi's future? can such honest people with such vivid personalities be found on Fark or Memepool?
posted by register at 2:29 PM on May 20, 2001

Subscribe to the Memepool Groupies mailing list and you'll find out quite a bit more than you wanted to know about memepool readers.
posted by darukaru at 2:33 PM on May 20, 2001

Actually, the question was more directed to the migration or recylcling of blog pointers - whether they have only recently started to run merry-go-round through the various domains, or if it's always been this way. It strikes me that when I first came on board there wasn't as much link bleed through - but granted, I wasn't paying as much attention elsewhere as I have been lately.
posted by Perigee at 3:12 PM on May 20, 2001

a different opinion on a story makes it a different story, so there may not be a loss of value, but I don't know if the recycling has been more frequent recently or not.
posted by register at 3:39 PM on May 20, 2001

recycling is probably inevitable. i mean, interesting news stories or sites aren't just interesting to one, particular community. they're interesting to many people, and they usually find their way to those people.
posted by moz at 4:53 PM on May 20, 2001

It depends largely on the link. Sometimes it's too hot a link not to copy post, most times though it's about laziness.

posted by lagado at 5:27 PM on May 20, 2001

It would be cool if you could build a "tracer" into a URL (Greenspun-like) that would allow you to follow its progress through the blog world. Unfortunately or fortunately, URL tinkering is easy to spot.
posted by rodii at 5:59 PM on May 20, 2001

Memes will inevitably migrate -- in a sense, that's what they're for.

People have been nabbing links from other logs for as long as there have been logs. My guess is that with so many logs these days, it's become that much harder to post stuff that hasn't made the rounds yet.

Perigee: What is this "wiredpress" of which you speak? Google and AltaVista both come up empty.
posted by jjg at 6:49 PM on May 20, 2001

Never mind.
posted by jjg at 6:53 PM on May 20, 2001

Perigree: "... the question was more directed to the migration or recycling of blog pointers - whether they have only recently started to run merry-go-round through the various domains, or if it's always been this way."

It has always been this way.

While MeFi has nearly 10,000 members, we all read the same group of websites. Most of the links posted in MeFi are recycled from other blogs, or aggregate news sites. There are only a few members of MeFi who habitually read sites out side of the usual few.

My first post to MeFi was recycled from Kottke. I have posted maybe two from FARK. I have also seen things I have posted in MeFi surface at Memepool two weeks later. The regular contributors to most of these sites are pretty much the same. While I do have posting rights to Free republic, I do not post there. I think I have posted thrice at FARK. I am not a contributor at Memepool. I do not read or contribute to Slashdot. Many here do.

I can see how you rate FARK as the "girl you date," and MeFi as the "one you take home to mom," but I disagree with the MENSA metaphor. MeFi readers are just the same as FARK, only they act civilized (most of the time) here. If you follow the conversations, you would see that the general reactions are just as arbitrary and whimsical as FARK. It is just that, the members at FARK are less inclined to follow up on something and investigate. That makes their boards less "sticky." This is why they now have the "make a caption" and "Photoshop this image" features.

You will see all of The Onion, Satyr, BBSpot, Reuter/AP Weird News show up at FARK and pretty much everything printed on NY Times, Washington Post and other news paper articles show up at Free republic. I think MeFi tries to keep the information overload to a minimum.

If you really want to find news/sites that are not being recycled from FARK/Memepool/Slashdot/Salon/Slate/other blogs, you have to find those yourself. It's a big web out there. 99% of it has yet to be discovered by someone other than the person who put it up on Geocities.

posted by tamim at 7:15 PM on May 20, 2001

Tanim, my thanks and compliments on a wonderful answer and posting. The MENSA analogy may have been poor, but it was absolutely meant only in the most complementary of terms; thanks especially for seeing past the bad verbiage to the meaning behind it.
posted by Perigee at 7:26 PM on May 20, 2001

Sometimes things take a long time to circulate. For example, this thread came to MeFi via a New York Times article from May 15 which may well have simply been picking up on a Slashdot mention from August of last year. Funny how this particular meme, which initially took flight in a community forum, didn't really come to roost at MeFi until it had been picked up by no fewer than three major offline media outlets (New Scientist, Boston Globe, NYT) as well as IDG News. Just goes to show a link can be cool even if it's been around for a while.
posted by kindall at 1:06 AM on May 21, 2001 [1 favorite]

Web Intersections is a fascinating look at just this sort of thing.

A selection of blogs is crawled and any links archived. The next time something is blogged, up it pops. It's fantastic!

If only it were searchable.

posted by southisup at 1:35 AM on May 21, 2001

Actually.. this concept that we all read the same sites is argument enough for the need to have 'new blood'. You hopefully get someone who has stumbled upon Metafilter but does not belong to the same cycle of web sites and blogs that the current users do.

The whole meme-migration, thing, though, is an inevitable side-effect of hyperlinking in any format. Very interesting topic, though.
posted by rich at 12:17 PM on May 21, 2001

But surely this discussion is simply splitting hairs. Are you asking the question whether us mainly white, mainly affluent, mainly male, mainly heterosexual, computer literate people visit the same websites?

No shit sherlock.

To be less bitchy, when was the last time you went surfing. I know I haven't really wasted time on the web for a while now. Are blogs just the Fast Food of information, making us all fat?
posted by fullerine at 6:14 AM on May 25, 2001

You know, you're damned if you do and you're damned if you don't around here. Post a Salon/NYT/Slate/Feed link and you get slammed for "common knowledge", post a FARK/Satyr/BBSpot/Ananova link and you get pounded for posting a stupid link, post a Memepool/Plastic/Slashdot link and you get whacked for link whoring, but then if you go find some guy's lame-ass GeoCities website devoed to "All Things Gumby" or something, you get told that the link is inappropriate or you're an evil troll for making fun of some poor schmoe.

So what's it gonna be, kids? Is this the dirty little secret about the whole blogging fad -- that it's really just a circle-jerk and depending on the circle you choose to join you may or may not be allowed to jerk yourself the way you want?

As far as my own blog goes, it's intended to be shared with my friends and family, most of whom do not read all the same websites that are on the MeFi Most Popular list, so they do see some of these recycled links for the first time by coming to my site. I'm not trying to be the next MetaFilter, so I'm happy with what I do on my own site.

Meanwhile, why not just slap up a big "Thou Shalt Not Link From These Sites" banner and be done with it. I think the thing that infuriates me the most about MetaFilter is the mysterious set of rules that newbies are expected to automatically know, that old timers readjust to suit their whims, and that no one will admit are actually the rules.
posted by briank at 7:03 AM on May 26, 2001

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