"Status, Value, and Building a Successful Online Presence"



Jul 07, 20234 min read


"Status, Value, and Building a Successful Online Presence"


In the world of social media, status has become a significant driving force. Platforms like Twitter often focus on symbols of status, such as the coveted blue checkmark. However, this obsession with status can be detrimental, as it distracts from the true purpose of these networks: creating value for users. In this article, we will explore the connection between status, value creation, and building a successful online presence. We will also provide actionable advice on how to cultivate a strong presence on platforms like Twitter and Substack.

The Link Between Status and Value:

While status may seem superficial, it plays a crucial role in driving engagement and attention. We are naturally drawn to content that we believe can teach us something valuable and help us gain status ourselves. Marshall McLuhan's quote, "Anyone who tries to make a distinction between education and entertainment doesn't know the first thing about either," highlights the interplay between these two aspects. People who excel in their fields are admired and respected because their achievements symbolize excellence in valued domains of activity. We seek to be close to such individuals as it is rational to aspire to their level of success.

The Importance of Value Creation:

However, status alone is not enough. Admiration does not substitute for genuine connections and friendships. True excellence in any domain comes from having a purpose beyond seeking status. Without a deeper motivation, individuals would not persevere when faced with challenges. This notion is beautifully captured by Adam Smith's observation that "Man naturally desires, not only to be loved, but to be lovely." Abraham Lincoln echoed this sentiment, expressing his desire to be esteemed by rendering himself worthy of his fellow men's respect.

Twitter's Focus on Value Creation:

Instead of fixating on status symbols like the blue checkmark, Twitter should prioritize helping users create value for each other. This can be achieved by deepening users' abilities to provide entertainment, knowledge, and connection. By fostering an environment where valuable creators are celebrated and encouraged, Twitter can attract more individuals who contribute meaningfully to the network. It is crucial to cultivate an ethos of what makes a good Twitter account and nurture it to ensure the platform remains healthy.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Focus on Content Creation: Rather than obsessing over status symbols, invest your time and energy in creating high-quality content that provides value to your audience. Whether it's informative, entertaining, or thought-provoking, prioritize substance over superficial indicators of status.
  • 2. Embrace Social Learning: Surround yourself with individuals who have proven abilities in your field of interest. Humans are social learners, and being in the presence of accomplished individuals can inspire and motivate you to reach new heights. Seek out mentors, engage in meaningful conversations, and learn from those who have already achieved what you aspire to.
  • 3. Prioritize Authentic Connections: Building a successful online presence goes beyond accumulating followers or likes. Focus on fostering genuine connections and friendships. Engage with your audience, respond to their comments, and create a sense of community. Authenticity and meaningful interactions will lead to sustained growth and a loyal following.

Building a Home for Your Publication on Substack:

In the realm of newsletter platforms, Substack has gained significant popularity. When using Substack to build your publication, it's essential to consider the overall user experience. The majority of readers access Substack posts on mobile devices, so ensure that your materials are easily comprehensible on various screen sizes. Additionally, the design elements of your Substack site, posts, and social media presence should effectively and evocatively communicate the value of your publication.


Status can be both a driving force and a disservice in the world of social media. While it is important to acknowledge the role it plays in attracting attention, true success lies in the ability to create value for others. By focusing on content creation, embracing social learning, and prioritizing authentic connections, individuals can build a strong online presence that goes beyond mere status symbols. Platforms like Twitter and Substack should also prioritize fostering an environment that celebrates valuable creators and cultivates a sense of community. Ultimately, it is through the creation of real value that we can establish a meaningful and lasting presence in the digital landscape.


  1. "Status as a Disservice", https://every.to/divinations/status-as-a-disservice (Glasp)
  2. "Substack Grow: Building a home for your publication", https://on.substack.com/p/grow-3 (Glasp)

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