All over the internet it's the same story. People trying to get more likes on Facebook, more followers on Twitter, more listeners on Soundcloud, more viewers on YouTube. And so on and so on.
On the surface this all looks productive. But, it misses the point. Somewhere along the line, the goal has ceased to be connecting and has becoming amassing likes, followers, etc. Let's be clear. You can't really follow 10,000 people on Twitter if "follow" really means keeping track of what they are doing. At this level, following simply becomes a way of building your own following. But, if everyone is busy building their own following by following others no one is really following anyone! Same goes for Facebook likes.
As someone with something of value to share I'm just as guilty as everyone else. Yes, I want to build a following on Twitter and get more listeners on various social media sites and I don't know any other way of building a following at this point.
Of course, you can say just provide quality content. But, content is meaningless if no one reads, watches, or listens. An example from my own experience will suffice. I currently have nearly 700 "fans" on Reverbnation which is a site for promoting music. On the surface that would seem to mean I have 700 real, engaged listeners who enjoy my music and wish to show this by becoming a fan of mine. But, it can't be true. Why not? Because while I have 700 fans and 5 songs available to listen to I have a total of 13 plays. Thirteen!
No, this is not a marketing ploy disguised as a blog post. A way to get you to listen to my music. I am just sharing a frustration about the state of social media. I think this is part of what Seth Godin means when he talks about working to create real connections as opposed to simply broadcasting to the largest audience possible. Better to have 50 real devoted fans of your work than 700 "fans."