So I am aware of the general feeling towards your Twitter follower account among some of the Twitter community, in short they feel that your follower count is irrelevant other than for an Ego stroke.

I almost find myself agreeing with them accept for one thing they are missing, the future of Social Media is not in Twitter or Facebook or any other network it's in the Real Time Search Engines and aggregation services like Tweetmeme and the Digg.com (especially after its relaunch coming soon).

You see the majority of content consumed on the web happens via Search, that won't be changing any time soon, if ever! Google knows it, Microsoft knows it and so do the Social Networks.

So why is follower count more important than people want to admit? (after so long saying it doesn't, it's harder to accept change) All search engines have to have a starting point when working with Real Time updates they pull from Twitter and Facebook, you need a metric to first judge user A from User B.

That makes Follower count the primary metric so once you know that Person B has 100,000 followers but Person A has only 1000 you can get a very quick fix as to which user has more "Power" in that network and you initially weight your search placements on that metric.

Ok so with that done you move onto the next metric "Interactions" how many other users C,D,E etc are interacting with Person A or B's updates in some way, that might be Retweeting or using the Like or Share options built into a given social network, I'm deliberately being open because Real Time Search isn't all about Twitter they are just one network of many feeding into the Real Time Search systems and the same rules apply to all network not just Twitter.

These Interactions are the "Relevancy" the more interactions against a given Link the better it will be ranked, and lets not kid ourselves the Link is the currency of the social web and that's what has the Search Engines are so excited, real people powered search rankings based on what users are swarming around and sharing.

When you post a link to any social network not all your followers are going to engage, not all of them are online at that moment, in fact their is always a larger part of your network NOT online than online at any given time. Guess what the person with the large follower count also has more online users than the person with 10,000 scale it any way you want the person with 1000 followers has more online users proportionally than someone with 100.

You can say but relevancy, yes and? the person with 100,000 followers also stands the best chance of having proportionally more interactions as well and thus Relevancy metrics (Shares, Retweets, Likes, Thumbs up).

When it comes to Real Time Search more focus needs to be given to it's importance in the Social Decade and how best to get fresh never before seen links into Search Index's in minutes not months with high rank.

Don't ignore your follower count or buy into the "It's irrelevant" chatter, it matters and it will become even more important as the Social Decade rolls on, those who invest in building their networks will strike gold in ways we can't even imagine yet.

Keep talking, keep raising the bar on your communications, break convention and go off message, find people that would not normal engage with you, build more relationships and greater relevancy for those core messages and all important links.

I'm aware than I'm in the minority for my views on the Follower count and things may change but given the biggest players in Real Time Search are the ones pointing the way we would all be foolish to ignore them.