I read Bitch PhD's blog fairly often, and she's doing a favor for a friend, who wants to track the speed of a meme. He says:
"What is the speed of meme? People write in general (typically truimphant) terms about how swiftly a single voice can travel from one side of the internet to the other and back again, but how often does that actually happen? Of those instances, how often is it organic?
Most memes, I'd wager, are only superficially organic: beginning small, they acquire minor prominence among low-traffic blogs before being picked up by a high-traffic one, from which many more low-traffic blogs snatch them. Contra blog-triumphal models of memetic bootstrapping, I believe most memes are—to borrow a term from Daniel Dennett's rebuttal of punctuated equilibrium—"skyhooked" into prominence by high-traffic blogs."
So I thought I'd play along. Go visit Acephalous' blog and link to it. If you're going to MLA and go to his talk on memes, you can be proud knowing you've contributed to Knowledge and Wisdom.