…is that (for me at least) they have to resonate.
That is, they have to strike me as something I’d want to contribute to.
Which makes researching an empty meme difficult and probably not very meaningful: The empty meme will only spread among those for whom memes as memes are interesting, not those willing to add to an interesting sort of serial conversation.
So, sorry, CW, but I’m not playing. And I don’t believe the results will show anything about how real memes spread, or even the pseudo-memes that get picked up from blog to blog because bloggers find the topic or technique or whatever fun, worthwhile, intriguing.
Yes, this is a semi-blind item. For it not to be blind, I’d be participating in the empty meme. Which I’m not inclined to do. On the other hand, I do believe the point about meaningful research is valid: When the thing being researched (in the social sciences) only exists for the purpose of research, the results are likely to be skewed.
Imagine a 30-minute survey whose only topic, evident from the beginning, is how you feel about taking 30-minute surveys… Or, for that matter, a two-minute survey of that nature.