Breathing life into a blog meme, maybe

Things I’ve done revisited

As I continue reading previous blog posts written on this day, I’ve been struck by a couple of things. One is how often there didn’t seem to be anything worthwhile writing about, and how even writing about that seemed worthwhile. There was a phase when lots of bloggers were looking at their logs and writing about the strange searches that brought readers to them, probably only to be disappointed. Linked to that, there were blog carnivals and blog memes.1

Carnivals took a more-or-less specialised subject area and aggregated posts on that topic, usually submitted by the writer and often to a different host each time. The basic idea was that if your site occasionally played host to a rich source of good stuff from other sites, then people would be attracted to your site and maybe even stick around or add you to their blogroll. Taking turns at hosting shared the administrative load and the benefits that accrued. It was considered good practice to read all the submissions and craft your own post that would link to them, possibly exercising some selection, in a way that might entice readers to see for themselves. In that respect, because they were curated, blog carnivals to me are distinct from planets that merely accrete stuff, admittedly on a topic, without curation.

Me, me, me

Blog memes were different, more a kind of pyramid scheme or chain letter. One blogger came up with an idea or a prompt, responded to it and then tagged other bloggers to respond, and tag, in turn. The underlying logic of why one should participate was not always that clear (to me). It might have been an early attempt to game page rank algorithms, because you linked back to the person who tagged you and forward to the people you were tagging. I don’t really know, but it did give you something to write.

Anyway … I’m not quite ready to launch a new blog carnival of my own. But when I raised the topic 10 days ago or so it got an enthusiastic response from a few people. And then, as serendipity would have it, an on-this-day post was a response to a blog meme. So, here we are.

Have you ever …

In December 2008, I came across this post from someone who was on my blogroll, or in my feeds, or something. They listed 100 things that one might have done in one’s life, and invited one to indicate those that one had actually done. I took the challenge on as a lark and then decided that the same list could prompt individual blog posts, so I started doing that.2 And now I’m resurrecting the meme, and tagging Amanda Rush and ladyhope. I hope they will participate, link to this, and tag two more people.3 Of course, if you are inspired to do it too, then just go ahead.

Here’s the original list, cleaned up so you can do your own bolding

  1. Started your own blog

  2. Slept under the stars

  3. Played in a band

  4. Visited Hawaii

  5. Watched a meteor shower

  6. Given more than you can afford to charity

  7. Been to Disneyland

  8. Climbed a mountain

  9. Held a praying mantis

  10. Sang a solo

  11. Bungee jumped

  12. Visited Paris

  13. Watched a lightning storm at sea

  14. Taught yourself an art from scratch

  15. Adopted a child

  16. Had food poisoning

  17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty

  18. Grown your own vegetables

  19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France

  20. Slept on an overnight train

  21. Had a pillow fight

  22. Hitch hiked

  23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill

  24. Built a snow fort

  25. Held a lamb

  26. Gone skinny dipping

  27. Run a Marathon

  28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice

  29. Seen a total eclipse

  30. Watched a sunrise or sunset

  31. Hit a home run

  32. Been on a cruise

  33. Seen Niagara Falls in person

  34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors

  35. Seen an Amish community

  36. Taught yourself a new language

  37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied

  38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person

  39. Gone rock climbing

  40. Seen Michelangelo's David

  41. Sung karaoke

  42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt

  43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant

  44. Visited Africa

  45. Walked on a beach by moonlight

  46. Been transported in an ambulance

  47. Had your portrait painted

  48. Gone deep sea fishing

  49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person

  50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris

  51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling

  52. Kissed in the rain

  53. Played in the mud

  54. Gone to a drive-in theater

  55. Been in a movie

  56. Visited the Great Wall of China

  57. Started a business

  58. Taken a martial arts class

  59. Visited Russia

  60. Served at a soup kitchen

  61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies

  62. Gone whale watching

  63. Got flowers for no reason

  64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma

  65. Gone sky diving

  66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp

  67. Bounced a check

  68. Flown in a helicopter

  69. Saved a favorite childhood toy

  70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial

  71. Eaten Caviar

  72. Pieced a quilt

  73. Stood in Times Square

  74. Toured the Everglades

  75. Been fired from a job

  76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London

  77. Broken a bone

  78. Been on a speeding motorcycle

  79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person

  80. Published a book

  81. Visited the Vatican

  82. Bought a brand new car

  83. Walked in Jerusalem

  84. Had your picture in the newspaper

  85. Read the entire Bible

  86. Visited the White House

  87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating

  88. Had chickenpox

  89. Saved someone’s life

  90. Sat on a jury

  91. Met someone famous

  92. Joined a book club

  93. Lost a loved one

  94. Had a baby

  95. Seen the Alamo in person

  96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake

  97. Been involved in a law suit

  98. Owned a cell phone

  99. Been stung by a bee

  100. Read an entire book in one day

Off you go, and godspeed.

  1. There is a lot more I want to say prompted by these ideas, and with luck I do just that. 

  2. I brought those two posts in specifically because I needed to be able to refer to them. The rest will have to await their day. 

  3. And just for a laugh I am also going to link to What is a Blog Meme? from Chris Garrett, just to see whether he will make good on an offer he made in 2007. 

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