Massive, impersonal, one-to-many networks are never as valuable as intimate, engaged and interested communities. More is not better unless users are actually empowered and connected. Having hundreds of thousands or even millions of passive followers (something individuals now have, putting them at the numbers previously reserved for media and businesses) is not what you should seek to acquire and ignores the real value of building a network. I’d rather engage a group of 1,000 interested people over a passive following of 100,000 any day of the week. We would run circles around the larger group.
Have great ideas to share with the world? Want to improve your industry? Are you driven to become a thought leader? You can, but not if you mindlessly chase numbers for the sake of numbers. Build trust and engagement instead, as those are what actually matter. This will lead to more useful, interesting and altogether fulfilling results.
Some thoughts to keep in mind: