Shortly after the market's big drop in September 2008, this phenomenon — photos of stunned and sad people shuffling through their day on the trading floor — became the perfect fodder for Tumblr. There are two of note: THE BROKERS WITH HANDS ON THEIR FACES BLOG and Sad Guys on Trading Floors, which started within days of each other in October 2008.
The second of those two Tumblrs has popped up every now and then to continue its documentation of the most visible sign of a bad moment in the market. After going quiet late last year, Sad Guys on Trading Floors returned in July with a flurry of posts. On Friday, it came back again to remind us that many things will change, but one thing remains: When the market crashes, people will be visibly sad about it, and a photographer will be there to capture the moment.
On Aug. 24, Sad Guys posted another one:
And then another:
The blog was created by Jess Hemerly and Chris Riebschlager. In a 2010 blog post on the Institute for the Future's "Future Now," Hemerly said that the Tumblr racked up 259,390 page views during its first day alone, after a write-up on BoingBoing rocketed Sad Guys to several different outlets looking for something to break up the gloomy market coverage of the time.
Chris and I were, and quite frankly still are, dumbfounded. All we did was agree on a noticeable phenomenon that we thought was funny (photos of distressed-looking traders accompanying stock market articles), open an account on Tumblr (Chris did that part), scour the web for pictures of sad traders (not hard to find; news site slideshows were a godsend), save the pics to our desktops, upload, write some captions that we at least found mildly amusing, and post.
Sad Guys doesn't seem to have the reach anymore that it did back in 2008 and 2009, when the repetition of the photos it posted influenced how some people happened to feel about the recession. "Desperate Brokers are the New Lolcats," read one Mashable headline at the time.
In any case, it looks like the people behind Sad Guys aren't the only ones thinking about all those sad people on the trading floor today. In a post titled "The Sad Reality of Sadguysontradingfloors," the Tumblr noted that as the Dow plunged, the blog's traffic numbers suddenly jumped.