What does it feel like to have more followers on Quora than a Quoran who gave you inspiration? Did they gain more followers than their mentor?

Ah, a good question.

Once again, I wanted to be all contrarian and say, “In your FACE, Mentor! The apprentice is now DA MASTER! Bow down, ye mortals!”

I can’t. Geez, I wish I could. But I’m falling in line with the others.

Of course, I don’t do mentorhood anyway. Or rather, I love mentoring (you may have noticed), but I haven’t had much experience or expectation of being a mentee. I am arrogant enough that I rocked up to Quora and went, right, I’m writing here, and you can all fall in line.

(Yes, I know mentee is an analogical formation in English. Sometimes English gets it right!)

Now, there are people here whose writing and character I look up to. But I don’t regard that as inspiration or mentoring; just as peers I admire.

My first reaction was to check out the Magister, Michael Masiello. Because last I’d checked, I’d just pipped him to the post of 1000 answers:

To the victor, the spoils by Nick Nicholas on Gallery of Awesomery

(Snapshot taken just before I pipped him to the post)

Well, I checked, and he’s on 2k followees and I’m on 1.5k. We both feel that’s pretty random, and well, meh. Doesn’t change much of anything.

The cheerleader beside us is Dimitra Triantafyllidou. She’d opted out of running for 1000 answers, because she was resuming studies and wouldn’t have the time to; but she was happy to cheerlead. She has 620 followers. But she does have a quill now. 🙂

How does that feel? She’s good. I love her answers, and I love that she smacks me down when I’m wrong. (I don’t love it too much!) She’s got fewer followers? Meh. She’s good. It’s not important that she has fewer followers than me, or that Michael has more. The Enemy shall not have purchase in sowing envy between us. Dimitra’s got the followers that matter.

Like ME!

Same goes for any number of smart, perceptive Quorans with integrity, who happen to have fewer followers than me. Clarissa Lohr, say, one of the most judicious thinkers I know. Or new linguist on the block, Daniel Ross, whose every answer is a joyfully read dissertation. (A somewhat longish dissertation. 🙂 Or Jennifer Edeburn, who is fast becoming the third angel on my shoulder, and I don’t think Manichaeanism is meant to work like that.

They have fewer followers than me? Pft. I learned from them, and I learn from them. And you will too. The follower count is random, and as much as anything, it’s about tone and not content.

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