I used to think that having lots more followers on Twitter than people you followed made you look good, that the ratio was important.
And perhaps at a cursory glance it does. But with so many services devoted to getting your stats up, (twiends being a case in point) it all starts to become a bit meagingless.
It makes me wonder, how do I want to use Twitter?
Is it just a feather in my cap, proving that I can be popular (incidentially, I’m, not yet)? Frankly, I’d rather let my body of work speak to my successes.
I love community, and conversation. I want discussion. But I don’t want that discussion hampered by a endless supply of tweets clogging my feed from people I’ll never interact with.
A good community of people makes for a useful experience. People who talk to each other, to debate and share.
And it’s not just a matter of lists. Any leader is in part defined by his/her followers. When people look at my list of followers, I want them to see quality people they might want to interact with too.
If you become popular enough, you can stay popular just for that reason. Get enough people following you, and your list of followers isn’t indicative of your peers anymore, but just that you’re a social trend. See @markhoppus for an example, albeit a funny one at that.