The virus of the 25 thing meme

How did 25 things get so viral? What was its ebb and flow as a meme? Chris Wilson–and 3,0000 readers–chart the virus in a fascinating piece.

“Since I’m no evolutionary expert, I shipped Slate‘s data to Lauren Ancel Meyers, a biology professor at the University of Texas who models the spread of infectious diseases
mathematically. Meyers says that around Day 39 of Fig. 1, we see the
“classic exponential growth of an epidemic curve.” (Day 39 in this
graph is Jan. 8.) She also explains that “25 Things” authors can be
seen as “contagious” under what’s known as a “susceptible-infected-recovered
model for the spread of disease. Think of “25 Things” authors as being
contagious for one day–the day they tag a bunch of their friends.
Meyers found that, for that one day, the growth parameter of the “25
Things” disease during its ascent phase (roughly until the beginning of
February) was 0.27. This means that, on average, each “25 Things”
writer inspired 1.27 new notes.”