Baton Meme Madness

I was thinking about the musical baton meme, how it spread, and just how quickly it spread. If this were a virus, it would have been a very efficient one as it made its way through the entire web-development community (at least from my perspective) in less than 2 days. That says a lot about how adept we’ve become at propogating news and information via blogs and RSS. I’m sure Birdman could probably come up with a much better way to present this as he’s been raving about a book he’s been reading entitled “The Visual Display of Quantitative Information“, but I wanted to make a quick list-style display of this viral epidemic.

For my list, I started with Richard Rutter, the first person in the chain of blogs that I read that picked up a baton and started chucking them out. Each of the 5 people he infected passed on the baton to 5 other people as well. For the sake of brevity, I followed one branch a couple branches of this tree (Jon Hicks). I continued to expand one branch from each of Jon’s contacts, then expanded one branch from Jason’s contacts and so on and so forth.

If you don’t get the Legend, try refreshing a couple times. I have a different style of bullet for those who haven’t played the game. More details in the comments.

18 Comments

  1. Indeed, it has spread very, very fast. I very much enjoyed it, and I hope I’ll discover some favorites soon.

    Uhm, what’s next.. Movies? :)

  2. Hey Jason, what’s the legend supposed to be? On my end I can’t tell a difference… On a similar train of thought as yours, I listed a rudimentary “map” of how the people that passed me a baton received their baton(s). Very interesting to see who visits who’s sites, you know?

  3. Ditto that one Ray, your legend is silly Jason.

  4. That’s because you both have my stylesheet cached. Refresh a few times. The bullet style for all <ul> in the “virallist” class have solid square bullets. I put a “notinfected” class on the <li> of those who haven’t played the game (yet). The bullet style !important for “notinfected” list items is an open circle.

    Ray, your “maps” have inspired me to expand this list a bit more…Stay tuned, This could get very, very ugly.

    Bojan, I think I’ll pass on the memes for a while this one is still making my brain hurt.

  5. *lightbulb*

    Thanks Jason :)

  6. Obviously a work in progress, eh? Some names are missing, although there parent node is in the list (no names, please) ;)

  7. What’s there now took a lot of work so far…let me know which nodes you want me to expand on. If you want to copy the source, expand on it, and email it back to me, I’ll update it. :) In the mean time, I’ve been using it as a portal to check out a lot of sites I’ve never even seen before.

  8. I imagine it took a lot of time to get that to it’s current state, no doubt. Let’s see if you can guess why I was asking or specifically, what nodes I was referring too ;)

  9. Well, I’m guessing you’re wanting to see the nodes that lead to your site.

  10. Well I was going say Keith and James, but I now realize that they didn’t do the meme dance…hence the reason they’re left off the list. Sorry, wasn’t paying attention close enough ;)

  11. I’m scared to even look at that list anymore in fear that I will add RSS Feeds from some of the new sites in there to my already overflowing Bloglines account.

  12. So, should we all let you know when we post our addition to the baton meme thang? I’m in the list, but I’m no longer notinfected in fact!

  13. You are now infected…as are a few other people. I don’t think I’ll expand any more of the branches, but let me know if I have any incorrect information, and I’ll fix it.

  14. I actually did not pick the baton up from Rob, but from Veere. But this did spread rather quickly!

  15. That’s a cool concept, back-tracking the baton passing. Thanks for the comprehensive list, now we can see what all the rockstar designers listen to via one page. :)

  16. Sorry Jina, my little list doesn’t really take into account who people took the baton from, only who they passed it to. I expanded Rob’s tree and he happened to pass it to you. So now you’re in there, even though I see you took it from Veerle. :) If you notice, some people are in the list a few times…like Zeldman.

    I’ll definitely be coming back to this page to check out the sites I have listed that I’ve never really seen before. It looks like there are quite a few rockstar designers out there I’ve never…heard? Kinda makes me want to make a webdesigners directory site with that title…

  17. I actually didn’t mind it – someone asked me to do it, I commented on their blog, no big deal – until it started popping up on every last blog I came upon.

    A google search yields horrific results.

  18. “575,000 Results”…It definitely did get a little out of hand.

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