The life cycle of a meme: I’m currently obsessed by the NASA fakes Moonlanding page that has been circulating around the web recently. I first noticed it a few days ago on a routine trip to Brainsluice. Davo had been sent an e-mail with astonishingly amusing copy in it, and had decided to republish it. I read it, collapsed laughing and passed on. Next thing I saw, it was high in blogdex’s charts, and then I saw it on Metafilter. Several days later, it is still at #3 over at Blogdex and over thirty-eight separate sites are linking to it. The latest news is that it has apparently resurfaced ‘topside’ once more. Davo informs me that a friend of his received an e-mail linking to brainsluice.com, telling them to check out the moonlanding page.
Of course there are dangers associated with pages becoming wildly successful, the most significant of which is vast and unpleasant bandwidth bills. But most of us experience such surges only very occasionally (if at all). But the interesting thing for me in this is how you can almost track the spread of this page as it moves from site to site, language to language, and even begins to change media. Most interestingly, we remain unaware of the stories actual origins, although through some research I stumbled upon this Google cache of a page that is no longer up and running.