We want droves of followers, we want to be featured on design blogs, we want to be idolized. But to what end? To be featured on the most blogs? To be listed on the most inspiration pages?
What kind of community do we exist in where creating the best design and solving the hardest problems isn’t at the forefront of our minds? Being an influential, successful person is not about Twitter followers or blog features. I often wonder what the world was like before this culture of popularism began. Maybe it’s always been this way.
Currency is Twitter followers and Facebook fans. What would our world be like if follower counts weren’t public numbers, and your value was based on the content of your contributions and the quality of what you created rather than the number next to your name?
This is an issue of marketing. People with tremendous amounts of followers/fans are, to a certain extent, like any corporation with a large budget. It has the means to get its content out to the public, no matter what it is. This can be awesome. It can be used to raise awareness about disasters in the world; ways to help or support a cause. But largely, I’ve found, it is used to endlessly promote the ego and work of a designer. It’s not that promoting your work is a bad move, it’s just that it can get annoying really fast, and what’s the point of that?
So, here’s a question for you, dear readers: Why are follower/fan counts public? What good does it do, and what would our community look like without them? Would we be better off?