I think to become well known here it depends on how active you are and if you are active, you get to know all the other active users. So all that familiar contact (kissing up) is really just people are used to each other and tend to interact on one another's posts, I honestly don't think it is anything more than that. Every well known Gagger was a newbie at one stage perhaps thinking how can I get involved then by becoming active they just seem like part of the furniture now.
what most people do is send someone a follow, people get that notification and would instantly follow back, so when you ask a question it is at the top of their feed. i barely follow anyone and am only followed by 1 i think. i barely get replies to my posts so i cba most of the time and just try to help other people.