by Leslie Harpold
Memes and Hamsters
I really shouldn't tell you this, but lately I've been getting all my best links from one place. After bemoaning a period of heretofore unparalleled boredom with what I was finding onthe web. Then I fell into the Memepool.
In the tradition of , well, Smug, they have the ever rotating slug line, my favorite being "scratch 'n sniff pheromemetics", but it's more than a cute collection of catch phrases that keep me coming back. Memepool is a web log of the highest order. A few months ago, I wrote about the taste driven trust culture emerging on the web - who you trust and who you don't - and memepool takes a certain kind of taste, spreads it over a managed contributor base, and then divides those findings again by category and author. The contributors are intentionally pseudonymous, and repeated visits have allowed me to peg a couple who I seem to appreciate most, an added layer of filtering and functionality for the users. The spartan design lets the content stay at the forefront,
Simple but leading one sentence teasers make you want to click. The writing is minimal but compelling. However off the cuff the sumamries may be, they have an air of cultivation, giving me just the feeling I want when putting my cache's contents in someone else's hands: someone smart and pithy has something to show me, someone who I perceive myself to either like or be like.
For those of you new to memetics, a meme is an idea, behavior, style, or usage that spreads from person to person within a culture. From a catch phrase to a gesture of greeting to a style of clothing, memes are the things that signify cultural identifiers. Now, in an alternate relaity, in french "meme" means same. Basically it's all related. Memepool is water just the temprature I like it, a place that lets me get off easy, a scenic route to things on the net I'm sure to at least not hate.
Now, the one thing I've found recently without the assistance of Memepool that made me all giggly and happy was the Hampster Dance. A web page made without any consideration of design, usability, interface, or even a point. Just a page by a guy who really likes hamsters, and not in the wierd and scary way. Someone who said to himself "You know what the web needs? A hundred dancing hamsters!" then made it so. A passion I respect. Even if one of the hamsters is labeled "gerbil.gif" it's the passion of creation and unselfconscious concern with taste or style that makes my heart warm.
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