What Exactly Is A Meme, Anyway?
June 20, 2009

Replication of the flu virus.

Good question.

I did some research and came across a site with a great explanation, and bursting with Memes:

The Daily Meme: What is a Meme? 

Memes are a fun and interesting way to unite with fellow bloggers, besides providing a ready-made post on those days you’re less than motivated or your mind draws a blank. But they’re more than that; like the flu virus image above, they replicate and mutate and take on a life of their own (a.k.a., they’re just too cool).    

According to The Daily Meme: 

A meme is:  

•An idea that, like a gene, can replicate and evolve.

•A unit of cultural information that represents a basic idea that can be transferred from one individual to another, and subjected to mutation, crossover and adaptation.

•A cultural unit (an idea or value or pattern of behavior) that is passed from one generation to another by nongenetic means (as by imitation); “memes are the cultural counterpart of genes”.

The term and concept of meme is from the 1976 book by Richard Dawkins, The Selfish Gene. Though Dawkins defined the meme as “a unit of cultural transmission, or a unit of imitation,” memeticists vary in their definitions of meme. The lack of a consistent, rigorous definition of what precisely a meme is remains one of the principal criticisms leveled at memetics, the study of memes. (from Wikipedia)