Memes Enabling Networks
By: Daniel Jeffers - Search Engine Optimization - 2013
Though some define memes as essentially pointless humor, I believe they provide a critical role in online and offline networks. I find it interesting that this paper describes memes functioning on the infrastructural level of the Internet. He shows how they support networks in the data space level of the Internet, then goes up the layers until he gets to the user layer. That’s us.
Networks consist of nodes and connections, along with the properties that define them. The nodes can be data-servers, or they could be people. Some writers attribute memes to communities, but I think networks is a better choice.
Communities are, in my mind, persistent, self-aware, and robust. A community member can probably identify other community members, and there are multiple connections between them. Communities don’t exist one moment, go dormant, and spontaneously re-appear. That kind of behavior can happen with networks, however. Think of communities as being a subset of networks—one that is particularly strong.
Networks can be strong, weak, or barely existing. They can change rapidly, and live dormant for long periods of time. A network can have many structures, and many of the nodes may have little awareness of the range of the network or other nodes. Think about the difference between networking and joining a community.
The Internet has created billions of actual or potential networks. Every person, online, is a potential node for thousands of networks. Causes, interests, past associations, ownership, geography, religion, satisfaction, and dissatisfaction are all real or potential networks.