In a post-US election, post-clickbait world, the financial viability of memes is a legitimately interesting area. There would be genuine value, both economically and anthropologically, to exploring how the usage of memes has impacted people, communities, and companies on a financial level.
This isn’t about that. This is about how a publication took a bunch of Reddit users playing a game for lulz way too seriously.
The subreddit r/MemeEconomy has been going for a few months now. It basically does what it says on the tin: it’s applying all the financial jargon that’s usually squished between the world and sports segments of a nightly news program to the world of memes. It pretends that every new, current, and old meme is a property that redditors can buy, sell and trade on the stock market (aptly titled the NASDANQ).
The whole thing is, in essence, pretty much harmless in nature: there’s no real money involved and it’s mostly used to track the life and death of memes. But now the for-real financial nerds at Forbes have decided to write an article analysing the data in a similar fashion to, well, a stock market analysis. And the whole thing is hilarious in a did-they-really-do-that way.
Hell, they have graphs.
Written by Forbes contributor Priceonomics, the piece is a wild read. But I especially love the bits where the writer seemingly forgets that they are just talking about a bunch of randoms pretending memes are worth something, and goes full financial advisor mode. Like this:
“The Top Decile Memes Portfolio, on the other hand, experienced massive growth. Top memes ended 183.5% higher than they began, peaking at gains of 1392.4% on April 26. The market crashed abruptly on April 27, erasing much of the Top Decile Memes Portfolio’s gains and shaving the overall market down to 72.7% of where it started.”
Can you believe that we live in the exact time when not only does a meme economy exist, but that someone took it seriously enough to write that?
I love the internet.