What’s a meme?

The first time I saw the word, “meme,” was on Dan Pink’s blog, causing me to realize that it is probably a word I should know.

I like learning words by seeing them in context. Here’s the blog entry where Pink used it:

6 words, 6 sentences, no waiting

The ultra-short story meme continues to thrive. Virginia Backaitis has launched a blog devoted to mini-tales that asks, “What can you say in six sentences?” Also, if you haven’t seen it already, Wired‘s November issue asked a bunch of novelists to try their hands at 6-word science fiction. Margaret Atwood’s is my favorite: Longed for him. Got him. Shit.

Posted on 01/03.

{CORRECTION 08/20 – The “Six Sentences Blog” was actually created by Robert McElivy. Virginia Backaitis is a contributor.}

I just love the six word stories, and from this I guessed that a “meme” was some kind of virally traveling idea and I was pretty much right. Whenever you learn a new word, you start running into it all over the place. That’s how it was with meme and me, especially in the blogosphere where there is a breed of meme that is all about giving props to other bloggers. It’s basically a blogging meme chain letter. But unlike with most chain letters, if you’re tapped for one, it gives you a little thrill and sends you on an interesting journey (whereas with a chain letter it’s just a giant Ponzi scheme of self-perpetuating mail.)

Needless to say, I was hoping to be tapped for one of these memes, and lo and behold, it has happened….twice!

The first one happened in July when I was traveling in Kansas City, but I didn’t know about it until yesterday when friend pointed it. The meme is about bloggers naming 5 blogs that always make them think. I was tagged by Gretchen Rubin, over at The Happiness Project, a blog which always makes me think.

The rules for this meme are: 1) if you get tagged, write a post with links to five blogs that make you think, and 2) link to the original post, by The Thinking Blog, that launched the meme so people can easily find it.

Here are my 5 picks:

  1. Dan Pink
  2. Ben Casnocha: The Blog
  3. Jeremy Blachman’s Weblog
  4. Brazen Careerist
  5. Half of Me

The second meme is called The W List: aka Women Who Blog and it began with this post by Valeria Maltoni at Conversation Agent to catalog the greatest women who blog. It was then picked up by Krishna De at Krishna De’s BizGrowth News who alphabetized it and added some links. The list has grown quite a bit since the original post because as women bloggers hear about it, they are supposed to republish the list with their additions. Now, I’m no math superstar, but it is safe to say that these instructions create quite rapid exponential growth, not to mention happy amounts of blog traffic to the meme-ettes. So who am I to complain?

I was tagged by Tiffany Monhollon of Little Red Suit in this post. I had never been to Tiffany’s blog until she tagged me, and it’s terrific. She blogs on a lot of things that interest me — generations in the workforce, p.r., productivity.

Here are a few of my favorite women bloggers:

The Anti 9-to-5 Guide, by Michelle Goodman

Half of me Jennette Fulda
The Happiness Project Gretchen Rubin
Is today a zoo day? Mary Schwalm
Lobo’s Movie Reviews Judy Wolfe

My Shingle Carolyn Elefant

Nichelle Newsletter Nichelle Stephens
Once More Unto the Breach Jody Rosen Knower
Ordinary Life, Extraordinary Living Carol Ross
Proxyland Wendy Fried

Your Career and Your Biz Eve Tahmincioglu
Work in Progress Lisa Takeuchi Cullin

If you’re a woman who blogs you can spread the W love by copying the list in its entirety and adding the names of the best women bloggers you know who are missing from it. Here is the complete list (or, what I’m thinking is the complete list, but by now there are likely to be many versions circulating) with my additions to it:

45 Things by Anita Bruzzese
A Look at Art & Design: Lisa Mikulski
angiemckaig.com: still a great pair of legs Angie McKaig
The Anti 9-to-5 Guide by Michelle Goodman Ask Dr. Kirk
The Artsy Asylum
by Susan Reynolds
Back in Skinny Jeans
by Stephanie Quilao
Beltway Confidential
by Julie Mason
BlogWrite for CEOs Debbie Weil
Biz Growth News by Krishna De
Brain Based Biz by Dr. Robyn McMaster
Brain Based Business by Dr. Ellen Weber
Brand Sizzle Anne Simons
Branding & Marketing Chris Brown
Brazen Careerist by Penelope Trunk
Build a Solo Practice, LLC by Susan Cartier Liebel
Christine Kane by Christine Kane
CK’s Blog CK (Christina Kerley)
Communication Overtones Kami Huyse
Confident Writing by Joanna Young
Conscious Business by Anne Libby
Conversation Agent Valeria Maltoni
Corporate PR Elizabeth Albrycht
Crazy Aunt Purl by Laurie Perry
Creative Curio by Lauren Marie
Customers Are Always by Maria Palma
Customers Rock! Becky Carroll
CustServ by Meikah David
Debbie Millman by Debbie Millman
Deborah Schultz by Deborah Schultz
Designers Who Blog by Cat Morley
Design Your Life Ellen and Julia Lupton, identical twins
Design Your Writing Life by Lisa Gates
Diary of Claudine Hellmuth Claudine Hellmuth
Diva Marketing Blog Toby Bloomberg
Do It Myself Blog by Glenda Watson Hyatt
Dooce by Heather B. Armstrong
Email Marketing Best Practices Tamara Gielen
Emily Chang – Strategic Designer Emily Chang
Enter the Laughter by Marti Lawrence
Escape Blog by Melissa Petri
Escape from Cubicle Nation by Pamela Slim
eSoup by Sharon Sarmiento
Essential Keystrokes by Char
Every Dot Connects by Connie Reece
Fish Creek House by GP
Flooring The Consumer CB Whittemore
Forrester’s Marketing Blog: Shar, Charlene, Chloe, Christine Elana, Laura and Lisa
Forward Steps Life Coaching by Thea Westra
Franke James by Franke James
Get Fresh Minds by Katie Konrath
Great Presentations Mean Business by Laura Athavale Fitton
Half of me
Jennette Fulda
The Happiness Project
Gretchen Rubin
Hey Marci
by Marci Alboher
Get Shouty by Katie Chatfield
ifelse by Phu Ly
Illustration Friday Penelope Dullaghan
Inspired Business Growth by Wendy Piersall
Is today a zoo day?
Mary Schwalm

Jen McClure’s Ruminations & New Communications Review by Jen McClure
J.T. O’Donnell Career Insights by J.T. O’Donnell
Joyful, Jubilant Learning by Rosa Say
Kinetic Ideas Wendy Maynard
Learned on Women by Andrea Learned
Lindsay Pollak by Lindsay Polla
Live The Power by Karen Lynch
Liz Strauss at Successful Blog by Liz Strauss
Lobo’s Movie Reviews
Judy Wolfe

Lorelle on WordPress by Lorelle VanFossen
Making Life Work for You by April Groves
Manage to Change by Ann Michael
Management Craft by Lisa Haneberg
Mandarin Design Daily:The MEG Blog Michelle Goodrich
Marketing Roadmaps Susan Getgood
Moda di Magno by Lori Magno
Modite by Rebecca Thorman
molly.com Molly E. Holzschlag
My Shingle
Carolyn Elefant

Narrat Assets Karen Hegman
Netdiver Carole Guevin
Nichelle Newsletter
Nichelle Stephens

On My Desk Linzie Hunter

Once More Unto the Breach
Jody Rosen Knower

Ordinary Life, Extraordinary Living
Carol Ross

Peace, Love, and Harmony
by Kristen Harrell
Presto Vivace Blog Alice Marshall
Priscilla Palmer: Personal Development Demands Success by Priscilla Palmer
Productivity Goal by Carolyn Manning
Wendy Fried

Purse Lip Square Jaw Anne Galloway
Small Biz Survival by Becky McCray
Small Failures: Sustainability for the Rest of Us Jess Sand
swissmiss Tina Roth Eisenberg
The Brand Dame by Lyn Chamberlin
this is rachelandrew.co.uk Rachel Andrew
Sheriar Designs Mani Sheriar
Spacey Gracey Review & TrueGritz by Grayson Daughters
Spare Change Nedra Kline Weinreich
StealthMode by Francine Hardaway
Talk It Up Heidi Miller
Tech Kitten by Trisha Miller
The Copy Writing Maven Roberta Rosenberg
The Blog Angel by Claire Raikes
The Engaging Brand by Anna Farmery
The Floozy Blog by Kate Coote
The Kiss Business Too by Karin H.
The Origin of Brands Laura Ries
The Parody by Sasha Manuel
The Podcast Sisters by Krishna De, Anna Farmery and Heather Gorringe
Veerle’s blog 2.0 Veerle
Water Cooler Wisdom by Alexandra Levit
Wealth Strategy Secrets by Nicola Cairncross
What’s Next Blog B L Ochman
Work in Progress
Lisa Takeuchi Cullin

That’s What She Said by Julie Elgar
Versa Creations by Vivienne
Your Career
and Your Biz Eve Tahmincioglu

Ypulse by Anastasia Goodstein

Filed under Blogging, HeyMarci Blog, The Heymarci Blog

31 Responses to “What’s a meme?”

  1. C. B. Whittemore Says:

    Marci, thanks for promoting this wonderful list of women bloggers. It is such a thrill to be in such good company.

  2. JudyLobo Says:

    Hey Marci,
    Thanks for the mention in your terrific blog. Right back at you with 10 Lobo Howls.

  3. Catherine Says:


    Excellent additions to the list! (Especially as I’m looking for great business blogs).

  4. Rebecca Thorman Says:

    Thanks for spreading the list and introducing us all to new bloggers! It’s such a fun project.

  5. Mom2Max Says:

    There’s nothing wrong with populating the universe with great blogs…and if they happen to be the collective voice of women, it’s all good!
    I had added Carolyn of My Shingle fame (one of the blogosphere’s original bloggers) so great minds think alike.

    Susan Cartier Liebel, Esq.
    Build A Solo Practice, LLC

    “You were born an orginal; don’t die a copy.” John Mason


  6. Stephanie Says:

    Thanks for listing your favorite blogs. I’ve bookmarked several of them.

  7. Tiffany Monhollon Says:

    You have some great additions! Thanks for the shout out and for highlighting some other cool memes that I hadn’t heard of.

  8. Toby Says:

    Marci -

    Appreciate you continuing this list. So many great women bloggers. I need to dedicate a day to read more.

  9. ParisBreakfasts Says:

    Lots of new wonderful blogs to discover. I’m thrilled.

  10. Robert Says:

    Hi Marci,

    Just a quick correction/clarification:

    Dan Pink mistakenly credits Virginia Backaitis with launching “Six Sentences.” Virginia is actually a contributor to “Six Sentences,” which is a writing blog I created in September of 2006. It’s been steadily growing since then, and I’d love it if you (and your readers and fans) checked out the site and contributed!


    Robert McEvily
    Creator and Editor of “Six Sentences”

  11. Robert McEvily Says:

    …and to Marci’s blog readers:

    If you haven’t yet picked up a copy of Marci’s book – GET ONE TODAY! It’s one of the most original and eye-opening career books I’ve read in a long while.


  12. "heymarci" Says:

    Thanks for pointing this out Robert. I’ve corrected it, and notified Pink as well! Love that blog!!
    – Marci

  13. Anne Says:

    Marci, thanks a lot for posting the W-List.

    I have been loving your NY Times articles, and am glad to find your blog (along with the blogs of so many other great women).

    Be well!

  14. Carol Ross Says:

    Thanks, Marci, for the recognition and for providing a list where we all can find the good stuff. You are a true giver.

  15. Valeria Maltoni Says:

    Hi Marci:

    What a lively photograph of you here. Dan (Pink) is a fantastic writer and thinker from the Fast Company days. We had the good fortune of hosting him twice for each of his books. Keep inspiring!

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  30. gifts Says:

    Ah, I’ve seen that word thrown around here and there and now I’m so glad I finally found a decent description for it. Now I understand what it means! Although, I still don’t understand how to pronounce it. “Mime” is what comes to my mind the first time I read it, and I have this picture of a guy with a white painting face miming something to me. If it’s pronounced “meem” that just sounds weird… but, I suspect that’s how it’s pronounced. Very weird word. I bet it comes from some other funny language from way back when.

  31. custom oil painting Says:

    When I worked on a project related to social bookmarking, a fellow worker told me that meme is related to transmitted information. I didn’t exactly get what he meant that time. Thank you for this information. Another term has been added to my vocabulary.

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