Memes – Doing the Wave in the Blogosphere

I got tagged with a meme a few weeks ago and I refused to do it.

If you have no idea what Im talking about, you are lucky. Memes can be defined in a lot of different ways depending on the context of their usage. In this case, a meme is a set of questions that are passed from person to person. You fill out the questions. Post them on your blog. Then you tag another blogger who is supposed to do the same thing. Its supposed to be “viral fun” . Yes, bloggers are that hard up for fun.

It has the same intellectual resonance as doing The Wave at an event. You are embarrased if you do it sober, beligerant to non wavers if you do it drunk.

Memes come in all shapes in sizes. The 4 Things meme is what is getting waved around now.

If you are tagged, you are asked 4 Things

– 4 Jobs I have had,4 Movies I can watch over and over, 4 TV shows I watch, 4 places i have been on vacation

Can we all just disagree that this is pretty damn stupid ?

If you want to fillup a page on myspace or tagworld, meme away. But my goodness, real bloggers are answering memes.RSS feeds around the world are getting headlines with dumbass meme responses. Is this because of Bloggers Cramp ?

I dont know. The wave’s best days are behind it. We need to put questionmemeson the bench right next to it

55 thoughts on “Memes – Doing the Wave in the Blogosphere

  1. Ya know Mr. Cuban, I always thought you were a bit of an egomaniac. The things I saw at Mavs games, the Tv show etc. so I dismissed you as another Trump-like pain in the ass of American culture.
    I caught an interview with you on C-Span recently, I believe it was the second week of March 06. Since hearing your views in that interview and being directed to your blog site through it, all I can say that was wrong.
    Obviously I don’t know you personally but in this site it seems to me that you have a humility that I didn’t see and an honesty to match it. I don’t know how large either trait is but there is certainly evidence here. I find it funny that people have a knee jerk reaction and attack you as another corporate baron that feeds off the little guy. It seems just the opposite to me now.
    Anyway again, was I wrong.
    As the owner of a small business, thanks for the item, “Success and Motivation, Don’t Lie to Yourself” and keep it up, I’ll be reading.

    ps. concerning that C-Span program, you end the segment with you views on what wealth affords you, and your answer was time. Time with family , time to be inovative, time to live longer, time to enjoy… just an excellent answer and an even better attitude.

    Comment by Dan -

  2. One thing I could never understand, though, was when she and her friends would get all excited when the DJ played an NSYNC or Backstreet Boys song. This was the lousiest, cheesiest, most formulaic crap I’d ever heard. It pained me to see someone I was so interested in otherwise, act so foolishly about something so dumb.

    Comment by runescape money -

  3. Memes are a good example of the proliferation of ’emptiness’ on the web. What purpose do these questionnaires serve? Isn’t a MEME just another way of saying … Look at ME, look at ME. Let’s face it, everyone wants to believe that they’re unique, important, worth listening to, worth learning about. Memes stroke the ego…

    Comment by wow powerleveling -

  4. I think the answer is honesty. If I result to this type of blog, I’m reticent to share what I’m really thinking or feeling.

    I won’t judge someone if they do participate. I can only do my best and be honest about what I do type.

    I guess the Catch 22 here is that you’re putting energy into something you don’t think is worth your energy.

    Comment by Tim Taylor -

  5. The wave’s best days are behind it.

    SAY IT AIN’T SO!

    Comment by duhblow7 -

  6. MeMe Too!

    4 Jobs I have had:
    Forex Trader
    Stock Trader
    Gardener
    Call Center Operator

    4 Movies I can watch over and over
    Kill Bill Vol 1 & 2
    Jurassic Park
    Honey, I shrunk the kids

    4 TV shows I watch:
    Desperate housewives
    Lost
    Survivor
    Prison Break

    4 places i have been on vacation
    USA
    Canada
    Australia
    UK

    Comment by George Polizogopoulos - Forex Trader -

  7. Hey, I couldn’t resist – I thought that would be a funny comment.

    Comment by Ruan -

  8. 4 Jobs I have had:
    camp counselor
    computer programmer
    teacher
    computer lab operator

    4 Movies I can watch over and over
    back to the future 1 and 3
    star wars ep. iv
    orange county

    4 TV shows I watch
    csi: miami
    csi
    wheel of fortune
    jeapordy

    4 places i have been on vacation
    canada
    mexico
    japan
    usa

    Comment by Ruan -

  9. What a bunch of assholes to post their own “4 things” meme on your blog. That’s all I have to say about it…what a bunch of assholes.

    Comment by Dee Rambeau -

  10. I find it odd sometimes that I’ll see these quesstions posted to blogs of people I want to read about, and even though the content is completely about them, I don’t find it compelling at all.

    Comment by Gys -

  11. Mark-

    I tend to agree on alot of things you have to say on this medium, but I have to take you to task on this one.

    Memes = the wave? Not only do I disagree, but I can’t even begin to see how you made the connection.

    Memes may be the bane of the blogging world, and are used as a last resort when there’s no original thought left to post. As long as even a small minority of the blogging world likes them, they’ll stick around, much to some of our dismay.

    But the wave? That’s here to stay, but for a good reason. A good wave, when done properly, is impressive to see. 60,000+ at a pro football game – 90,000+ at a college game – and even the 20,000 in a basketball arena… it’s just plain fun to watch.

    You went to college. Ever been to a game where the student section splits the wave in two? Or speeds it up, only to slow it down?

    It doesn’t take any intellectual prowess to participate in the wave, but that’s kinda the point. If I go to a game and have to think real hard about part of my participation in the experience, then it loses some of the enjoyment.

    I still don’t see the connection between the two, but you’re still left with the same choice in both cases. If you don’t like ’em, don’t do ’em.

    I don’t do memes, but I do the wave EVERY time it comes around.

    Keep up the good work.

    Comment by Matt K. -

  12. Mr. Cuban,

    While it seems like a subject you wouldn’t normally cover on your blog, when I was reading this, I couldn’t help but wish that you would post what you think about human nature on here some time. Do you think most people have redeeming qualities, or do you think the majority of people are worthless? In light of our current (and perhaps potential future) understanding of the biological functions of the brain, I’d find it interesting to see what you think about things like the soul, the mind, and human nature.

    Comment by Fatshion Blog -

  13. I know this is off topic (way off)…but are you going to sign Shawn Kemp? I think it’d be a great move. Meet the guy before you make a judgement.

    Comment by Mark -

  14. I don’t get it. Why are people posting their answers on Mark’s Blog?? Don’t they have a blog of their own.

    It truly must be a ME ME ME… no one seems to be commenting on other’s answers, most just want to talk about themselves.

    Tip: Stop playing Toby Keith’s “I want to talk about me” — No one is listening….

    Actually, I don’t know which one is worse… talking about yourself all the time or that no one listens. I do know that forcing them to listen doesn’t work, so really, there is no point to posting your answers.

    FYI: No… I didn’t see any movie with the words “Cable Guy” in them.

    Comment by Wild Flower -

  15. Mark, I tagged you because I was curious if you would fill it out. I didn’t mean to annoy you or waste space in Blogosphere. I agree with many of the comments, these thinsg are fun because it gives you a different view of the writer. Sort of like a looking glass into the real Cuban.

    Comment by Shauli -

  16. I didn’t know “Meme” was the term for those…
    Anytime I read a blog that contains a “Meme” the author rises a minimum of 5 notches on my douchebag scale.

    Comment by funny shirts -

  17. I couldn’t agree with you more … let’s stop clogging the web with this mindless crap.

    Comment by Robert -

  18. Lighten up dude, one man’s meme is another man’s pain in the ass – it’s just a phase (like I keep telling myself reality TV is) – to each their own…

    Comment by Dan Buell -

  19. Concur…lighten up people.🙂

    4 jobs:
    plasma donator (poor college kid)
    professional magic the gathering player
    virtual item reseller
    game designer/developer

    4 movies:
    pulp fiction
    caddyshack
    fargo
    office space

    4 tv shows:
    sopranos
    deadwood
    lost
    the office

    4 places I’ve been on vacation (thanks Magic)
    rio
    tokyo
    paris
    rome

    Comment by Worth -

  20. Sometimes they’re fun and you get to know your online friends/readers a little better and sometimes you get to learn things about even your close friends.

    4 Jobs I have had:
    Model
    Actress
    Server
    Sports Writer

    4 Movies I can watch over and over
    Highlander
    Major League
    Romy & Michele’s High School Reunion
    When Harry Met Sally

    4 TV shows I watch:
    America’s Next Top Model
    Veronica Mars
    Family Guy
    Grey’s Anatomy

    4 places i have been on vacation
    Hilton Head Island
    Chicago
    NYC
    Las Vegas

    I have to admit, though, some are so inane that I won’t even think of touching them.

    Comment by Amy -

  21. I completely agree. They are like the never ending chain letters that I receive in my email. Stupid and annoying. Does anyone really care that I used to masturbate encage animals for artificial insemination? I sure don’t.

    Seriously, memes suck.

    Comment by Sports Bettor -

  22. The popularity of the ‘Question Meme’ speaks volumes about the current state of communication and the human condition. Question memes reflect individuals’ need to make personal statements. Most of us are too busy talking to ever stop and listen. Me, me, me, let’s talk about me. That’s what it’s all about, right?

    When you think about it, memes are actually insincere questionnaires. If these memes were at all genuine they’d probably be called yuyus or youyous. Turn off your inner chatterbox and ponder that for a while…

    Jim Parham ~ Yuba City, CA

    Comment by BlogMason -

  23. We’re living in doomed times. I’m wondering if i’m going to drown from the ice caps melting or bleed throuh my eyes from the bird flu. And there’s always that chance of a dirty bomb.

    Lighten up folks, cause tomorrow might not come. Although I bet those whining about such lists wouuld list “Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector” as their favorite film.

    Comment by Joe Corey -

  24. Mark,
    I couldn’t agree with You more. Leave that crap on myspace where it belongs.

    Comment by Joe -

  25. So you’re trying to force people to only blog about things that are “important” to you? People have blogs to talk about their personal lives. People have blogs to keep in contact with friends, to learn more about others. If this is your goal in starting a blog, what’s wrong with doing that? What makes someone a “real blogger”?

    Although I agee with alot of the things you say in this blog, here’s one area where you’re wrong. Don’t want to do it? Simply don’t. But don’t try to limit what others want to post on their own blogs because it annoys you.

    Comment by Asher -

  26. Ok, so being (one of?) the bloggers who pissed off Mark Cuban with the four things meme in the first place I couldn’t resist the following:

    http://thomashawk.com/2006/03/anti-meme-memes-in-my-rss-reader.html

    All in good humor of course. wink, wink.

    Comment by Thomas Hawk -

  27. Wikipedia description of memes– http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meme

    Comment by JohnD -

  28. Memes aside, the real issue here is going after the wave. While the wave may prove less than spectacular in a split-level indoor arena with 18,000 people, viewing and participating in the mass motion with 60-70,000 people in a large stadium is aesthetically awesome. I especially enjoy the slo-mo wave. I should note however, for me the world is always a touch more mesmerizing after a few drinks😉

    Comment by Josh -

  29. Mr. Cuban,
    I am in a sports and entertainment law class at Bentley College and we are required to blog or comment at a blog site, and I figured that yours would probably be the most interesting to look at due to your sometimes radical but always progressive views. I’d like to know what you think of blog culture and how it is affecting American sports and entertainment. Thanks a lot, Reid

    Comment by Reid Prinzo -

  30. In regards to post #3 George. Kill bill is actually one Movie. Tarentino created the vol 1 and 2 so that movie goers would not have to suffer for nearly 5 hours.

    So you get to choose another movie for your favorites

    Comment by KB -

  31. That’s because most people – especially in masses are simple, trite, unintelligent, and apathetic. This is all they have for entertainment in their lives. It’s cute when one is 12 or 15 or such, but after that it’s just sad, real sad.

    But then again, myspace is mostly populated by 18 year olds (cuz you can’t really pick a lower age) that are 12 or 15.

    Comment by adron -

  32. Tacky chain mail.
    I am surprised you get this stuff sent to you.

    Comment by Bland Response -

  33. Some of us just refuse to act like fools because ‘everybody else is doing it’. If everybody got back into disco, would you wear a leisure suit to work?

    Comment by Jordan Whistler -

  34. For certain, blog memes are for 14 year old girls. I find it odd sometimes that I’ll see these quesstions posted to blogs of people I want to read about, and even though the content is completely about them, I don’t find it compelling at all. 90% presentation, 10% that they answered them in the first place.

    Comment by Simon Carr -

  35. Mark, the revolution begins with you! Ban the wave at the AA Center.

    Comment by mike sarner -

  36. The Internet/World Wide Web is rapidly becoming a vast wasteland of advertisement and junk content…

    Memes are a good example of the proliferation of ’emptiness’ on the web. What purpose do these questionnaires serve? Isn’t a MEME just another way of saying … Look at ME, look at ME. Let’s face it, everyone wants to believe that they’re unique, important, worth listening to, worth learning about. Memes stroke the ego…

    What happened to creative thinking? What happened to original thought, free thought? Memes serve as Mindless Devices for Mindless Devices. We’re all a bunch of simpletons…

    Jim Parham ~ Yuba City, CA

    Comment by BlogMason -

  37. Seems like meme blog creators are too shy/embarassed/ashamed to ask in person or directly to people each in turn these meme surveys for fear of being found out to being overly invasive,told it’s not their business to know,or being red flagged as the next potential gossip queen/king, internet profiler/ information scammer. Whomever asked you the 4 questions, Mark, I’d like them to tell you their SSN#, Place of residence, Place of work, and their daily schedule for you to post on your site as the person to avoid.

    Comment by Jeff -

  38. Yes, I am a dumbass.

    Jobs – Wedding Singer
    Sears – Toy Department
    Theater Manager
    Bouncer
    Movies – The Natural
    – Hoosiers
    – Lost in Translation
    – Waynes World
    TV – SouthPark
    – Check Please
    – Dr. 90210
    – Myth Busters
    Vaca – Door County
    – Boulder
    – Tokyo
    – Bristol

    Maybe meme’s serve as a useful tool for self analysis. Ultimately they are more entertaining to the writter than the reader. I would have to feel that there are a couple thousand reasons for filling out a meme. I also feel that if you asked you would find a thousand reasons why people do the wave. These days I mostly do it because my daughter is sitting next to me and I can’t think of anything else I would rather do.

    Comment by Chris Hill -

  39. Funny you should mention this. I have a meme section in my blog. I certainly will not go out of my way to fill one out. But really Mark, it’s just another way to advertise some personal info out in a way of a quiz like post. Every blog writer is looking for feedback and attention. Memes in turn cultivate it.

    Comment by Nelson -

  40. Yes,I second that.Memes are juvenile.
    So much happening in the world to blog about.

    Comment by vidya -

  41. As annoying as these things are…I just love ’em! So join in the fun Mark, post your 4 things!

    4 Jobs I have had
    Accounts Receivable
    Office Manager
    Insurance Agent
    Waitress

    4 Movies I can watch over and over
    How to lose a guy in 10 days
    Pretty Woman
    Hope Floats
    30 days and 30 nights

    4 TV shows I watch
    Desperate Housewives
    American Chopper
    CSI
    Without a Trace

    4 places i have been on vacation
    The Oregon Coast
    how boring am I? I spend all of my vacation at the beach!

    Comment by DirkyGirl -

  42. In high school, I was dating a girl who liked to dance. I personally hated dances, but I always went with her and usually ended up having a halfway decent time. One thing I could never understand, though, was when she and her friends would get all excited when the DJ played an NSYNC or Backstreet Boys song. This was the lousiest, cheesiest, most formulaic crap I’d ever heard. It pained me to see someone I was so interested in otherwise, act so foolishly about something so dumb.

    One day, instead of being the cool, mature 17 year old that I clearly thought I was, I actually asked her why she and her girlfriends enjoyed those lousy songs when they were just so BAD. She told me, “I know they’re cheesy, we all know they’re just cookie cutter pop songs. But it doesn’t change the fact that they’re still FUN to listen to and dance to.” It was, before that point, beyond my neurotic imagination to see how one could ignore the cheese factor and just have fun dancing and singing. But once she explained it so simply, it’s instantly clicked for me ever since.

    Moral of the story is, sometimes people just want to shut off the intellectual side of their brain off for a little while and do things that are easy and fun.

    Comment by Mike L -

  43. The 4 Things meme seems pretty lame. A practice I like, however, is propagating memes that actually contribute to the reason I read the blog. For example, as a screenwriter I read a number of screenwriters’ blogs. There’s a meme going around right now about screenwriting experience, personal mistakes, insights. It’s really very beneficial for me to read how older and more successful writers answer these questions.

    Comment by Ryan Stauffer -

  44. DELETE

    I never answer those any more.. I think the last one I did was 8 – 10 years ago. My true friends know about me.

    How about the emails telling you, that you have to forward them to your best friend and 10 others in 10 minutes…. What sucks is when it’s actually a funny joke or something… Then they ruin it by trying to place the fear of god in you…. DELETE.

    Oh oh.. another one I am sick of.. “This really works… send it to all your friends and you get $XXX from XYZ Company”…. some people still do this! — DELETE

    I just got this one a few days ago… “Hey, I’m from (whatever country) and I have millions in an offshore account.. I just need to move it and then you get lots of money” —
    YEAH – That sounds like a good idea – DELETE

    This one just bugged me, because I know that people would fall for this because they made it believable. It was a FBI Threat:
    It looked like it was sent from the FBI with fbi.gov (BTW – it’s super easy to send email looking like it’s from someone else)

    Subject: Your IP was logged

    We have logged your IP-address on more than 30 illegal websites.
    Open the list of questions attached. (A ZIP file!!!!)

    From
    (It gave some guys name and all the FBI information, including address and phone)

    I was getting 30 emails a day – yes I could filter it .. but I was more irritated that others would fall for it.. AND I actually was suspect on where they were coming from.. so, I forwarded it to spam@uce.gov … And amazingly they stopped. Do you suppose it’s a crime to pose as a cyber cop????

    Emails I like — Jokes that are short and actually funny.

    I didn’t know your site was so therapeutic!!! LOL LOL

    Comment by Wild Flower -

  45. Mark,
    After reading the responses to your post I have come to one conclusion: I don’t understand human behavior.

    Loving these people must be tough, I’m glad I’m not Jesus.

    Comment by Unbelievable -

  46. 4 Jobs I have had,
    Counting people as they enter a pet store
    Dom DeLuise’s towel boy on Candid Camera
    Professional Destructo for product research
    Cockfighting ref

    4 Movies I can watch over and over,
    Creature from the Black Lagoon
    Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine
    Saturday Night Fever
    Last Tango in Paris

    4 TV shows I watch,
    Colbert Report
    Hogan’s Heroes
    Your World With Neil Cavuto – he reads my letters
    The Banana Splits

    4 places i have been on vacation
    Graceland
    Bracey, Va
    Iceland
    Mary McFarlene’s sofa

    Comment by Joe Corey -

  47. Hey Mark! I love a lot of what you write and generally am a silent reader, but letting something like this irk you is a genuine surprise. Sure, everyone likely has better things to do, but it is the spirit of it that counts here. The social fabric of society is based on an openness that nowadays most people are afraid of. The meme is an indirect way of allowing people to provide a snapshot in time of part of their lives. It is interesting, intriguing, and worthy of talking about at the water cooler. Sure, we likely know most of your stuff, but for us common folks, this type of thing is interesting because it transcends a bunch of boundaries. So mine are:

    Jobs – project manager, developer, barman, peon

    Movies – Indiana Jones 1, Solaris (the original one), The Longest Day, A Bridge too far

    TV – Lost, West Wing, Boston Legal, The Loop

    Vacation – Sri Lanka, China, Italy, Chad

    Comment by Chris P. -

  48. Meme factory — http://www.stayfreemagazine.org/archives/25/jonah-peretti-interview.html (Interesting interview about on-line things that become “contagious”)

    Comment by JohnD -

  49. I just have to laugh. If you’re so over it, why even post about it? I’ve been blogging now for a while. I’ve never had or come into contact with these so called memes.

    What’s the latest on the Bubble project? More importantly, what have you learned about going through that process? Will you do it again? What will you do differently?

    Comment by Taylor -

  50. Mark,

    I wonder why, like someone at 37Signals blog recently (don’t know who it was), you feel the need to say this?

    Arterall, what skin off your nose is it if you don’t accept the tag?

    Sure, it annoys you, but you don’t blog about everything which annoys you I suspect🙂

    But the interesting question is why memes such as this are so successful (sometimes). I think that is a fascinating thing to try and understand. And anyone in business surely wants to know why people act in a loosely coupled way with great spontaneity? Bottle that and you’ll get a lot of peope downloading the latest Soderbergh film🙂

    john

    Comment by John Allsopp -

  51. Mark – When I was first introduced with this meme stuff, I had the same opinion. But the four things/1oo things/2-bits isn’t so different than the back of a baseball or basketball card.

    Commonality is a cornerstone to building community. It draws folks together.

    I think each blog author should consider whether it’s appropriate for their audience. If they go into personal detail often – pass. If they rarely do, it may be a good chance for transperancy otherwise not offered.

    They can get out of hand, but one now and again provided a decent read.

    Comment by Mike Sansone -

  52. I also caught the cspan interview. I can’t say I had ever had a strong opinion versus Mark Cuban like Dan did, but through this blog and his revealing pieces of his personality on tv I’ve gotten to like him. Similarly a lot of folks have gotten to like Wil Wheaton after growing up hating him for the character he played on tv. (see wilwheaton.typepad.net, or his slashdot interview/comments)

    Comment by Ruan -

  53. Thank Jeebus someone finally had the good sense to point out how awful these memes are. It seems the only ones who aren’t in on the fun are blog readers. Sadly, like chain emails, memes are probably too stupid to die.

    Comment by Adam -

  54. Personally I like when bloggers fill out the 4 things meme. A lot of the blogs I read I found through links and just started reading, I don’t neccesarily know too much about the blogger – so this little bit of info is pretty cool.

    Comment by J.D. Amer -

  55. Loosen up a bit, Mark. All the cool kids are doing it.

    It’s just a trivial reminder that we’re all in this “transparency thing” together.

    Comment by Jordan -

Comments are closed.