Thoughts on Seniority in Social Media Communities

I admit I’ve been listening to old Internet Aristocrat uploads. Jim is laudable for refusing the crown that is pushed into his hands on the daily and I find his aim of producing, mining and nurturing lulz to be pure. Lulz isn’t used too often, and I find it sad. Lulz are now instantly political, and politics is anti-lulz and then everything explodes and nobody gets to have any fun at all.

I tend to choose 2010 as the year that the internet went straight to Hell. Too many normies were invading the internet, and even if you had the honest intention to learn the ropes and language there was no chance to find a native with whom to practice your accent (why on earth do you think old forums are the ones most acutely aware of the trauma and trash of mass immigration?).

For the longest time, seniority mattered. Only a few would enter a new forum or ecosystem at a time, and you had time to learn the way that they spoke. Whoever had the earliest registration date had seniority and was able to set the tone of the culture.

But now, what matter is how quickly you can build up an audience. If you’re on Twitter for two months and have 20,000 followers — why, you must be the hot new ticket, and brilliant to boot! …but if you’ve only been on Twitter for two months, you don’t know how to talk to Twitter yet.

And it’s rarely an organic push. These quickdraws are always being led by another. There is no person with a fast acting follower base who has not benefited from a marketer with experience pulling some of the strings.

And we’ve bought into it. We no longer care if someone’s been on a platform for years. We only care about the people who have cultivated an impressive number of followers in the shortest amount of time.

Hello, fellow Twitter users.


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