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Borrowing Social Capital

June 23, 2022
Sometime in the 1st century, Paul the Apostle spread the teachings of Jesus around the Roman Empire. Last month, I went viral writing about Vitalik’s research paper and jumped to 10,000+ followers. There’s a pattern if you look hard enough.
This year, I figured out I could borrow a lot more than money on the internet. You can borrow other people’s reputations and audiences. To make things easiest, I’ll refer to both of these as someone’s social capital.
If you think this sounds sociopathic or extremely utilitarian, welcome to the media business. Borrowing someone else’s social capital is a very simple, proven way to grow online.
Nike grew by borrowing Michael Jordan’s clout. Rolex grew by borrowing Roger Federer’s clout. Nerds like me grow online by borrowing other nerd’s social capital.
On Twitter, this looks like retweets, quote tweets, and building content using other people’s content. No one would be on Twitter if interesting people were not using it.