1. what is wouter? what is meme? what is tagging (besides the obvious)? i’m so confused. must get back to dissertation.

    you harvard boys are all the same.

  2. Wouter is my buddy from the Netherlands who I’ve worked with on a few different things. He’s not a Microsoft employee, but sometimes he seems like one because he does so much for us. Here’s his blog. Here’s a picture of him.

    A meme is a transferable unit of cultural or behavorial information. It came from zoology originally, but the term has been hijacked by technology bloggers to mean “whatever tech bloggers are talking about at the moment,” and lots of tech bloggers are talking about this concept of asking five other people to tell five things about themselves that regular readers wouldn’t know. I think the key concept from Wikipedia’s definition of meme is this passage:

    “Meme-theorists contend that memes most beneficial to their hosts will not necessarily survive; rather, those memes which replicate the most effectively spread best; which allows for the possibility that successful memes might prove detrimental to their hosts.”

    And then tagging, another word that bloggers use in various and contradictory ways. It’s often used to mean associating keywords with a document (“I tagged my dissertation with sex and money to increase exposure”), but in this particular instance it has become the way people are passing this meme around. “Look, I’ve been tagged! Why, I’ll tag … you … and you.”

  3. thank you doug. i am now a meme expert. i will replicate, spread, and prove detrimental to my host. you guys want to have me over for dinner soon?

  4. Any time, although I should warn you we’re eating really healthy these days. For example, the only way I can get a three-martini lunch any more is to “work from home” while Megan’s in Redmond and drive to a bar downtown. And even then, I’m looking over my shoulder the whole time.

    (Mom, that was a joke!)

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