I'm not a scientist but I've been living the loser-life behind various keyboards long enough to notice that 'fun' links and webmemes ebb and flow in two year cycles. Perhaps new web 'generations' show up every two years, or we all suffer from collective short term memory loss. Perhaps the eternal September has something to do with it. *sigh*
Anyhoe.. Scott Eric Kaufman and some friends are measuring the speed of a meme, which should interest anyone dabbling in viral work, if only just for kicks since it's non-scientific play. All you have to do is link it, and beg others to link it, and we can see how far it spreads. Fun right? If you're into that sort of thing, I mean. ;9
I'm not the only one to notice the two-year thing, Wired News says "Every old meme is new again" about this particular experient.
In the end, Kaufman's experiment might prove less about how any particular meme moves through the web, and more about the attention span of the internet. Just two years after a nearly identical experiment, enough bloggers believed the experiment to be new and relevant that the meme traveled quickly and widely.
Far more effective I think this will be, the Are you an A-list blogrebity toy, where you can check your blog and see if you're A-list, B-list, C-list or D-list. We're A-list. Anyone with 666 links in the last 180 days is, which might mean that all A-listers are the devil. Anyway, you get a cute button and to pretend you're cool, so what's not to link.. er.. like?