numnum - 2:31 am on May 24, 2011 (gmt 0)
There aren't a lot of [fill in topic] experts in the world who are creating new ideas. I'll tell you flat out they are NOT tweeting, facebooking to get their messages out, or linking.
I'm with coachm on this:
popularity (like + follow) = authority and excellence ... NOT!
To the extent that the SERPs will increasingly reflect popularity as opposed to authority, real experts will be loathe to contribute their time and talent -- i.e, a chilling effect on quality.