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Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Follower counts like venue theory

Lately I've been focusing on figuring out certain odd things with my own story, and came upon a theory which I think explains follower counts across social media. I think they're like a venue, which makes sense!

Like imagine you're a young performer who starts out singing mostly in front of family and friends. Smallest venue. Maybe as you work at it, you end up in malls, or at small clubs. And as you build a fanbase you move on to bigger things, and maybe one day you end up performing in stadiums.

Similarly say, your Twitter follower count grows slowly and I'm saying is equivalent to your venue size, so it is NOT necessarily how many people are actually paying attention to you. How many people are in a sense, showing up, depends on your performance.

Which means if I'm right, it's worthless to just want a huge follower count, except I guess for meaningless bragging rights, if you're not actually doing the performance. Like if you have connections who can book you into, say Madison Square Garden, and a few people show but even fewer for any follow-up's as you're just not good enough for there.

Using this theory I've been looking across social media and it works for me. I'll note I have 124 followers as of this post on Twitter which I find does not bother me at all. Of course I like to emphasize I'm NOT an entertainer.

If you say follower counts are measures of how entertaining this particular person is on THIS venue, where a venue is Twitter or Snapchat and so on, then I say they make sense.

Notice then that someone can be MASSIVELY famous, step onto a particular social media venue, and not perform, and have a small number of followers as those things are not connected according to this theory. People don't care how famous you are, I'm speculating, but show up based on how well you perform on that platform.

If people show up and like it, their decision is what matters, but you do need to deliver. As, if you're to do a song and dance number, does the audience really care how famous you are? Only if that's to raise expectations. If you're atrocious, then it had better be a joke performance or they will be just that much more disappointed.

Each social media platform is a different venue. Twitter is different from Instagram, different from Snapchat, different from whatever. Some people are bizarrely good at performing across many of them. It is freakish. Most struggle on any one.

Performance is difficult. Being entertaining requires work, practice and skill.

Ok, so enough theory. Can I emphasize enough I'm speculating here? But for me these are working theories, as I try to explain my world with them. Also it's rather comforting.

So if you wish to be comforted by these speculations of mine, consider how good of an entertainer your are in any venue. And compare with your follower counts if you thought they mattered by any other criteria. If you realize you can't carry a tune, your jig is not up to snuff, and your jokes tend to fall flat, and hey, who said you had to be an entertainer anyway?

Then you can be free to be you, and drop that chain of an entertainment measure. As have I.

Of course I should also add, I could be wrong! So will see what the real world shows over time.


James Harris
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