Status is probably one of the most useful things to understand. It’s how we see the relationship between two people in any transaction. It’s how we know if somebody has the upper hand, or if they had it but just lost it, or if it’s ending in high-fives or fisticuffs.
Status measurement techniques also change with domains. It’s kind of like how talking to lifelong friends vs. work colleagues has a slightly different feel. Not because you don’t get along with each, but because you don’t have the reference points to draw from.
In the quote below, Eugene Wei takes status and translates it from followers and engagements to currency across social media platforms. It’s yet another way to look at status across domains.
Status is always relative, so there isn’t a fixed way to measure it. It’s only when we can translate status into something discrete like currency that we can have a conversation about how much a view is worth on, say, YouTube versus TikTok. Creators who are multi-platform are aware of that difference in ROI.
There are some structural differences. For example, since TikTok leans heavily on an algorithm to determine views for a video, your absolute follower count is less valuable than it might be on another platform where the follow graph is a stronger input to your success. On TikTok you’re only as good as your next video whereas on another platform your aggregate follower count might serve as a form of accumulated advantage.
I’m sharing this quote because status is one of those “the water in which we swim” ideas. If you want “more” status, you can start by understanding how it’s measured in the domain you want it in, and how that relates/differs from how you understand it in other domains.
Where do you want status and how do you think you’ll get it?