Being the Definitive Collection of Works by Allison Holt


(Much like the author)

Evolution Of A Meme

Posted in on September 9, 2005

Have I mentioned recently how much I love the Webbernet? ‘Cause I do. Pure technological wizardry aside, the kinds of worldwide communication that are now possible absolutely blow my mind. Case in point for this evening: the whole meme thing.

You might remember a couple of months ago I was tagged for a five childhood memories meme by Saundra over at Secrets and Lies. I know Saundra only in that we read each other’s blogs, and since that was the first time I’d been explicitly tagged by somone Out There for meme participation, I felt more than a little flattered and honored. I answered the questions as best I could, and then like a good little resident of Blogopolis, I passed the meme along to a couple of people, including my friend Amy.

Before I continue the story, a little background info that’s recently been brought to my attention about this particular meme. Brad Warbiany at The Unrepentant Individual started up the meme on June 1 as his method of “fighting back” against the memes with which he clearly gets regularly besieged. A month later, it had made its way to Saundra, who tagged me with it on July 1; by July 5 it had independently made its way back around to Brad’s group of buddies. Five weeks to come full circle.

Anyway, back into how this ties, however slightly, into me (because don’t you ever forget: It’s All About Me). I infected Amy at Beauty Joy Food with the meme, and on June 7 she took it and tweaked it, turning it into a “five food-related childhood memories” meme. This tweak makes sense given that Amy’s a food blogger, as you probably garnered from the name of her site. [1] She responded to the meme based on said alteration and tagged some other food bloggers.

Something I didn’t realize, being as I’m not really into food blogs and clearly don’t write one myself (anyone who knows my eating habits would doubt my qualifications even to read a blog about food): food bloggers are dedicated and passionate, and those people network like sumbitches. Amy started her blog at almost the exact same time as I started Do Or Do Not, and she only has about half as many posts as I do here–but I can guarantee you she’s got a far larger readership. (Some of this can be attributed to the fact that her entries tend to be longer, more involved and cough better, but we’ll ignore those points for now.) When she unleashed the childhood food-related memories meme into the gastro-blogosphere, those people took it and passed it around their virtual table like gravy at a Southern Thanksgiving dinner.

Amy let me know a few days ago that the meme has now shown up in Austria, and it’s shown up in Paris at what she assures me is the food blog of note. (I’ll take her word for it; for all I know, Amy’s is the food blog of note.) If the meme’s made it to those places, there’s no telling where else it’s gone, and I find that concept absolutely fascinating.

Yes, I know, I know–what I’ve described here is pretty much the textbook definition of a meme. But this is the first one I’ve ever seen that I could personally trace in this way.

Anyone reading this, feel free to bring your memes on to me. You’ve now seen the magic that happens when I participate. You want your meme to spread quickly to all corners of the world?

Pass it on to me.

So that I can pass it on to Amy.

[1] When I was typing that sentence, I first mis-typed it as "Amy's a good blogger," which while a typo is still very, very true. If I haven't said it in this space before, Amy's a fantastic writer, and she's passionate about food and cooking (specifically natural food and cooking) and that passion is clearly evident in her blogging.

Allison Holt spends her days wrestling with code and her nights wrestling with her amazing wife, three fantastic children and her big goofy rescue dog. You can find her at any of the social media links below, or you can email her at

All wrestling referred to in the previous paragraph is metaphorical.