Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Hitchhiking memes

I'm often on the lookout for opportunities to get memetics-related content to go viral on the internet. One potentially explosive topic is memetic hitchhiking. Memetic hitchhiking and memetic linkage are important topics for understanding memetics, but so far they have poor coverage in academia and online. I seem to be the main promotor of these concepts.

One thing I figure I can do to help is to make the proposed terminology as polished as possible. In my original memetic hitchhiking article I used the term 'payload' to describe content that spread via memetic linkage with another meme. That seems reasonable if the context is already memetic hitchhiking - but otherwise it is too vague. Enter hitchhiking memes:

"Hitchhiking meme" definition: a meme which spreads primarily via memetic linkage to another meme.

Meme-savvy marketers are probably the #1 audience for the memetic hitchhiking concept. It is a common marketing technique to link a brand or product with some viral content to help distribute it. The basic idea of memetic hitchhiking is pretty obvious, but the terminology to describe it scientifically is not getting used. My hope is that the idea of hitchhiking memes will give memetic hitchhiking a boost.

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