That's the logo from, which I launched in March of 2004.   Yes, it's a CORONAVIRUS.  

My site slogan was:

meme: A contagious idea that replicates like a virus, moving from mind to mind.

The Wayback Machine webcrawled RealMeme in April, 2005 after it was featured on and drew 20,000 viewers.   In late 2005, about 200 Google IP addresses descended on RealMeme and ransacked it.  I assume that a Google employee sent an internal email about my heavy data-mining of DejaNews, as the logins were almost simultaneous.

A few days later I received email about RealMeme from Bruno Bowden, a Google engineering lead.  We traded a couple of emails and I thought nothing of it.   The next year he notified me about the Google Trends tool, probably around the launch date of May, 2006.

I was running tens of thousands of queries against Dejanews to build time-series graphs and eventually Google set a limit of 200 queries per IP address.   But I just added an "IPCONFIG" call into my data-miner and kept going.  I'm pretty sure I was the cause of this:

Two years later, Bruno gave me a tour of Google Headquarters.  We had lunch, talked about data mining, data misuse, trend analysis.   But I suspect I may be an embarrassment as he may have presented Google Trends as his own idea.