The phrase STATUS SKILLS originated in the gaming world. From videogameoutfitter.com: “Unlike Battle Skills which are used more for offensive attacks during battle, Tactical Skills and Status Skills are more like support skills your characters can attain. Although these skills are not used directly against your enemy they are a vital part of your character's development and can effect the outcome of certain battle. (...)
In economies that increasingly depend on (and thus value) creative thinking and acting, well-known status symbols tied to owning and consuming goods and services will find worthy competition from 'STATUS SKILLS': those skills that consumers are mastering to make the most of those same goods and services, bringing them status by being good at something, and the story telling that comes with it.
Note: this is *not* an anti-business trend. It still relies on a dominantly capitalist system, in which consumption remains important, yet is partly replaced by another highly valued, status-providing activity: mastering skills. Which opens entirely new markets for both providers of skills, and those skillful consumers who may become competing producers of (niche) goods and services. (...)
Now, consumers can acquire as many skills as they want, but equally important is the showing-off aspect of what they've learned and created. Don’t forget: without ‘the others’ seeing, tasting, hearing or smelling your skills, without the inevitable story-telling, there shall not be any status coming thy way! Some of this showing off is best done in the company of family and friends, garnering recognition from those who are closest and who matter most. But other creations are just dying to be flaunted to strangers, to the entire world, to give their creators a status fix that's more in tune with today's obsession with instant celebrity. In that light, the incredible numbers behind Wikipedia, blogging software, Lulu.com, PureVolume, YouTube and Flickr are not at all surprising. We’re now all skilled encyclopedia editors, writers, musicians, directors, photographers, and we want to share the fruits of our labour with a responsive audience. Lesson learned: don't just figure out how you can help your customers improve their skills, but also give them an intimate or worldwide outlet to show and tell and brag.