More on Torturegate (the Word)

The number of Google references was at 13 on Thursday and is 31 this evening (mostly on blogs, and counting my two earlier posts). Nexis shows two mentions: One during "Hannity and Colmes" on Fox News on Thursday and
one in a short news item in a paper somewhere. Google News shows one reference, Yahoo! News shows zero, and Google’s search ofUsenet groups shows three (all Thursday). "Torturegate" doesn’t appear at all on two
select indexes of blog content, Daypop and Blogdex.

OK, so that’s today’s unscientific take on one new word. However, some people are trying to be a little more scientific about how new wordsand ideas spread in cyberspace. Wired News has a story today called "How the Word Gets Around," on an experiment to follow the spread of a new memeonline. After reading the article, I’m not sure what the project proves, though, because it invited people to participate as a sort of self-conscious exercise. It’d be more interesting to trace an idea that just sort of gets thrown into the collective consciousness. Like

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