Memes, Google and more

Memes are interesting things. Memes (etymology - to remember), came into popular use with the book, The Selfish Gene, by Richard Dawkins. Simply put memes are the counterpart of genes. They replicate, evolve and spread like genes. However, unlike genes, which replicate by the reproductive processes, memes spread by social diffusion. Memes and contagion are closely related. Memes (as commonly misunderstood are not abstruse thingamajigs) are anything that find acceptance in social networks and spread in a virulent fashion akin to a "virus". Memes may be thoughts, ideas or even technology. Although it is possible that the original thought might be contorted in a way that might not suit the originator. Enough of memes though.

Search engines have existed for long in the web-o-sphere, the oldest being Aliweb launched long time back in 1993. Back in the recesses of early 1990's I-am-doing-a-search was uncommon. Common repositories, books and libraries were the source of information. The scene was ripe to undergo a change with the launch of Google in 1998. So it is not surprising for me (a not so tech-aware user of the web-o-sphere), in 2006 that I-am-doing-a-search is common. Google has now become a synonym for searching.

"A - Do you know what memes are?”
"B - Just a sec. I'll do a Google and tell

Coming back to memes, Doing a Google or just plainly googling, has become worthy of being called as a meme. With the rising popularity of Google and its numerous offerings, the meme called Google is not only common but also the preferred means to search. I could not graduate if there was not a Google by the year 2001. Googling spreads from generation to generation by tradition, cultural practices and of course on-site training, true to the spirit of a meme. Google is just not a story of how a meme unintentionally came out of two Stanford University brains, but how something rudimentary as a search can prioritise and prune the way by which people seek information. Today, I will definitely go to a Google to find what I want rather than peruse among 1000's of books that one can find in a library. Google and the internet are a success story that link information and search, intimately affecting the way you, they and I seek and process information.

Coming to the more part of the title. I find it intriguing that several sites (including this one) do not have an option for the users to specify their g-mail ID's as their primary contact detail. (All they allow is a Yahoo, an IM, or an MSN) Probably that g-mail is still not that popular enough, given the burgeoning number of g-mail users (me being one and g-talk is easy).

Is someone listening?

See further

Memes (an introduction)

Search engines (historical reference)

PS - If I do not have to do it quick and dirty, I use wiki.


juste comme ça - design questions

One of the things that always leave me bemused is the aspects of design and its fundamental principles. Definitely looks like a rather over-creative job that well exceeds my boundaries of creativity.

Read this - A designer's take on Google homepage, intriguing enough

Check out the design psychology page here. Worth reading once.

I do believe that the study of usability (and henceforth design), HCI (human computer interactions) will take the centrestage (aka disciplines in vogue) when site counts exceeds normal cardinalities and people will not take for granted the contents strewn around a web site.