The enthusiasm currency

The enthusiasm currency

Frank Chimero on enthusiasm as currency:

Blogs are free to read. What that means is that you reward places with your attention and enthusiasm. … Audience enthusiasm may be our new currency as long as many things on the internet are free. …. Read [a blog]. Email them and say you enjoy the blog, and tell them what you like about it. Recommend it to friends. If a blog starts to suck, you should email them and say “Your posts are turning into fluff.“

Michael Bierut said something in passing once that I’ve not been able to stop thinking about, and I paraphrase:

If you like someone’s work, tell him or her. Even if you don’t know the person, especially if you don’t know the person, tell the person you like his or her work.

This simple act of enthusiasm, of kindness, of affection for good, is all too rare. Elsewhere this week, Seth Godin with similar sentiments on online friends:

Real world friends are hard to find and hard to change.
But virtual friends?
If your online friends aren’t egging you on…
If your online friends don’t spread the word about the work you’re doing…
If your online friends aren’t respectfully challenging your deeply held beliefs…
If your online friends don’t demand the best from you…
Then perhaps you need new online friends.

It seems there’s a trajectory on this note, as over at Lined & Unlined (whose increased frequency of late is quite exciting; head over if you haven’t yet), Rob Giampietro on the nature of critique:

My goal these days is to write things that, whenever possible, are slower, richer, and hopefully more enduring. I’ve … consciously shifted tone. Back then, following a lot of design writing I was reading, I thought everything should have a bit of an edge. …. I now realize that’s not really what I like to read or what I want to write.

See also:
The kindness of strangers, told through a bystander on a NYC subway platform, via 1997 This American Life (00:35)

For every tough piece I write, for every difficult decision, there’s an online set of friends giving feedback — short form, long form, solicited and unsolicited advice, close friends and strangers. Others, online friends still, time zones away, make a point to say hello — in person — when nearby. Audience enthusiasm, whether only sharing a browser, considering the same problem, or in the same city, is a rare currency with high value.