Saab story and Twitter’s personalized meme stream

Memes and contagious mediaAccording to Twitter Search, 31 of the last 50 tweets that contain the word Saab, also link to the New York Times article “Sweden Says No to Saving Saab.”

For people interested in news about the Swedish carmaker, that story has become a meme — a “unit of cultural information … that is transmitted verbally or by repeated action from one mind to another.”

Just as reporters on Twitter tend to follow other journalists, a Saab fan is likely to follow people who tweet about Saab. Such a fan would detect the “Sweden Says No” meme as his friends retweet the article. Popular Saab information would appear to him as part of a stream of memes personalized by the his choice of friends

So how can you use Twitter’s personalized meme streams to increase the chance that the content you produce can become memeworthy?

  • Find and follow users interested in the topic you cover. Many will automatically follow you back, or will follow you once they see that you tweet about something they care about. Here are 9 sites to help find people to follow.
  • Listen to your new “friends” to see what questions they want answered and find possible story leads. But don’t stop there. Answer questions when you can. If you find a possible story lead, send that user a direct message to ask for more information.
  • Tweet and link to stories your friends might find helpful. Not just your stories, but stories from any site or blog. Become a trusted referrer, not a self-promotional spammer.
  • Make it easy for people to tweet about a story as they read it. If you don’t have the technology to automate this process, add tweet this links manually.

Illustration credit: Mushon Zer-Aviv.