Status by Robert Lowe
Here's what I understand Robert Lowe thinks about status. Robert Lowe is the local Atlanta improv guru. He is one of the first people to bring improv into business. He is documented as being part of the first improv for the use of business venture. He is continuing his work in business under the name of Improvisation Incorporated. If I misinterpret him, I'm sorry. I do not claim the authorship of these ideas.
Status can best be explained metaphorically by two glasses with water. The height of the glasses describes the status of the player in a scene. The water represents focus (interaction and information). A person can pour water from the top glass into the lower one, but not the other way around. This fairly accurately describes how high status character tend to be forced to give. If they don't give, the scene fails because interaction fails. However, the giving of information or focus, lowers your status.
The audience likes to see the water go between the glasses; this is what you want to shoot for. If the water is spilt, that means that communication is lost. Anytime that happens, the value of the scene goes down.
Good improvisors can not only pass water quickly and vividly, but can sometimes make it rain.
If you want more opinions on status, Robert encourages people to read Impro, by Keith Johnstone.
Status by Je77
Here is my idea of the best way to explain status. Status came up during a rehearsal once and I thought up this explanation. It seemed kind of silly at the time, but the more I think about it the more it makes sense. (Yes. This explanation somewhat parallels Robert Lowe's, but I think it is fairly unique in many ways).
Status is like turtles on a greased incline. And, they have weapons.
The turtles symbolize the improvisors. The height of their position symbolizes their status (notice that it mostly brings up relative status). The grease is the environment, which can be changed. The weapons are the interaction between the turtles. Weirdly enough, I've found that this module also explains Keith Johnstone's platforms and tilts fairly well. The incline is the platform and the angle is controlled by the tilt (platform being an incline without a tilt or a 0 degrees angle).