Friday, May 23, 2014

Do All the Memes!

Every Saturday, I participate in a weekly meme called Six Word Saturday over at my personal blog. So this morning, I dutifully got up, wrote my six words (they were: They flushed the fire hydrants yesterday), downloaded the accompanying picture (of all the neighborhood kids playing in the water) and posted the whole thing to my blog. Then I headed over to Show My Face, who hosts the meme, but there was no linky. Weird. 

About an hour later, my sister called me. She calls me on her way to work most mornings, but never on a Saturday...I'm sure you've already figured out my problem. Today is Friday! It's a four day weekend for Memorial Day, which means that instead of Six Word Saturday, which I can whip out relatively quickly (though not as quickly as you might imagine), it was time to do my Proser blog post, which has been known to take my entire day.

So memes are on my brain.

What is a weekly meme and why would I want to do one?

I'm not talking about this kind of meme:

  • a humorous image, video, piece of text, etc. that is copied (often with slight variations) and spread rapidly by Internet users, like so:


I'm talking about one of the other definitions of meme:  a cultural item that is transmitted by repetition and replication.

In blogging, it is when one blogger decides they are going to blog about a certain topic each week, and sets up a system for other bloggers to blog about the same topic and link the posts together (a linky). An important step of having a successful meme is to get the bloggers to visit each other's blogs.

Some memes have become so wildly successful that they have hundreds or even thousands of blogs linked together. Those were the ones I found at first. My favorite big meme for writers is IWSG...the Insecure Writer's Support Group. They post on the first Wednesday of every month, and at the moment they have 308 blogs on their linky. The posts can be about writer's doubts, fears, struggles, accomplishments or words of encouragement. I love this idea! My problem was that I always remembered on the second Wednesday of every month, or the third Saturday...I know, with a little preparation that wouldn't have been a problem, but I haven't been able to make IWSG work for me. 

On of my favorite reading memes is Top Ten Tuesday, which is hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. They don't number their participants, but last week had somewhere around 300. This is another meme that I tried and failed to do, because it is a lot of work, at least for someone like me. Every week they give out a topic, and bloggers write their Top Ten favorite books about that topic. This week the topic was friendship. Perhaps some people can just whip that out, but I have to look through my bookshelf, look at blogs about books, hunt through amazon...and then when I finally have a list, I have to find pictures, create links...I just can't do that every week. But I'd still like to. I saw that on the Broke and the Bookish, there are 3 bloggers, so they each pick three or four books. Maybe we Prosers could handle something like that????

I find I like the smaller memes better, because it is easier for me to connect with people in smaller groups. All the big groups started out as small ones, with a stalwart, core group of people who got to know each other. That's what I'm looking for in a blogging meme. The two I'm participating in over at my blog are What's Up Wednesday and Six Word Saturday. 

What's Up Wednesday is a writer's support group where we answer the same questions every Wednesday--what are you reading, what are you writing, what inspires you and what else have you been up to? I'm loving it because it's a group of super enthusiastic and supportive writers, and I'm in dire need of both those things in my life these days. 

Six Word Saturday is a hodge podge of people, but many of them seem to be world travelers or photographers. They are also a supportive bunch, and they are all doing such fun things. This meme appealed to me because I have a tendency to be wordy (I'm sure you never noticed) and so I often don't blog simply because it takes so long. But six words don't take long at all. All week long I find myself pondering what sentence would sum up my experiences for the week. Then on Saturday I write my sentence (and then a few more to explain it) and find a picture to go with it, and BAM I'm done! 

Why get involved with a blogging meme?

It's a lot of work, writing a blog post and then visiting a bunch of other blogs and thinking of comments (I'm DREADFUL at comments. But getting better). But it is so fun to go visit my blog and find ACTUAL COMMENTS from people who have visited. Comments make me so happy! And slowly I find myself getting to know people. Awesome people, who help me be enthusiastic when I might be bored. Last week the entire world seemed to be excited that I was finally reading Cinder. I felt like a rock star! And those people who loved Cinder were also blogging about the books they were reading, and I found so many books for my TBR pile, and even better, I found so many people to talk about books with! 

I am surprised and delighted by how helpful memes can be. First of all, it can be hard to think of blog content, and these memes can help you know what to write about. They can give you followers who are interested in what you are writing. The blogosphere is a huge and uncharted place. Finding a group of like minded people is important. 

When you visit other blogs, you make friends who know stuff you don't know. They will share resources and information with you. Amazing things are going on in the worlds of reading and writing. But you've got to find out what it is before it can be of any use to you. And if you can find them and share them with a group of awesome people, well, that's happiness, right there.

What are your favorite memes?

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