A team of 12 from Reddit want to figure this out - by coming up with a 'stock market' for memes.
This might sound a bit ridiculous at first, but measuring the value of a meme, and therefore its cultural impact could be valuable for anyone studying web culture (or what some would simply call 'culture').
Political memes, for example, have in all probability had a big impact on recent landmark election results - yet commentators and analysts have no way of measuring their real influence, let alone make predictions on their impact.
r/MemeEconomy is a quirky solution, a subreddit in which people discuss memes as if they’re real-world commodities. If a meme is just beginning to bubble up online, you say you’re going to BUY. If a meme has peaked, you SELL, SELL, SELL. No real money is involved. The game is just an artifice with which to vocalize your commentary as a knowledgeable insider. It’s intentionally tongue in cheek, talking “investments” without seeming too invested. But now a 12-person team of Redditors (led by Brandon Wink and Ron Vaisman) is taking the idea behind r/MemeEconomy and making a working, interactive meme stock market. They’re calling the trading tool NASDANQ, a cheeky financial system for an alternate universe adjacent to our own where meme is king.