John Green’s metric is the only one creators need to pay attention to, a la Kevin Kelly’s 1,000 True Fans. The fact that creators are engaging directly in community building is a tribute to the history of art as much as it is to the future. Any pre-20th Century bard, poet, musician, storyteller, or troubadour had no choice but to connect with their fans face-to-face.
It reminds me of tidbit of John’s wisdom that has shaped my own career as a novelist:
“Don’t make stuff because you want money. It will never make you enough money. Don’t make stuff because you want to get famous, because you will never feel famous enough. Make gifts for people. And work hard on making those gifts in the hope that those people will notice. Maybe they will notice how hard you worked and maybe they won’t. And if they don’t notice, I know it’s frustrating. But ultimately, that doesn’t change anything because your responsibility is not to the people you’re making the gift for, but to the gift itself.”