social media twitter

Twitter Lists: A work in progress

I know Twitter lists have been out for a minute now, but I’ve finally worked with them enough to develop an opinion on them worthy of a blog post (hopefully, at least!).

My overall thought: Their intention is good, but they’ve got a little ways to go before I’d consider making any more of my own.

For starts, had I known it was going to take me an hour to compile a list of Twin Cities folks I probably wouldn’t have started it in the first place. As of right now, there is no search or filter option to put together a list quickly. And when you’re following around 1,200 people, clicking through each profile one-by-one to see if they belong on your list is extremely tedious and time consuming.  

Once I completed that list, I told myself I wouldn’t do it again until some changes were made. So why I decided to make another one for PR folks is beyond me. But once I started I couldn’t stop. Maybe it was my mild OCD that took over. Who knows.

So far, I haven’t really referred to my lists that much. I think mainly because I already have a good sense for who it is I’m following. But I have taken a look at a number of lists that belong to people I find interesting. The value I’ve found in that is I’ve been able to connect with people I didn’t know were out there.

I can see how lists would be really helpful for those who follow 10,000+ people. Having a way to organize all those different tweets is probably a relief. I’d just like to know who and when they find time to create them!

But thank you to Twitter to creating this feature. I can’t knock them for being innovative. Chances are they’ll update lists to be more user-friendly very soon. Until then, I’ll be holding off on creating any more of my own.

There has been a lot of talk about Twitter lists in the blogosphere. Here are a couple posts I found particularly helpful in understanding their value and potential:

10 Ways You Can Use Twitter Lists by Sarah Evans on Mashable

Twitter Lists As A Networking Tool by MN Headhunter, Paul DeBettignies

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  • Reply
    November 18, 2009 at 2:44 pm

    I definitely agree with your take on Twitter lists. They’re a step in the right direction, but it’s a tool that really needs to be better refined and made more user friendly.

    One thing I’ve really enjoyed about lists is that they’re a quick, easy way to get a feel for someone. For example, if you’re checking out your new followers, you can see which lists they belong to, thus finding out how others categorize them in terms of content, etc. You can also see if other people you already follow have listed them, making it the ultimate tool for recommendations.

    Hopefully we’ll see some changes made to lists in the future as Twitter receives more feedback (and hopefully some tweaks to the new RT feature, too!).


    • Reply
      November 18, 2009 at 2:56 pm

      Great point! I think I’m also starting to take into consideration how people list new followers of mine when deciding whether or not to follow back. It makes it easier to filter out those annoying spammers, too.

  • Reply
    November 27, 2009 at 1:14 pm

    I thought it was weird when the first notification showed up on my twitter page announcing the arrival of lists and I think its weird today. I don’t get it. I have certainly gained a lot from twitter over time. Have you heard of the “Twitter Resource Directory”? Check it out. It has probably every single known Twitter resource possible including external sites that offer apps and everything else twitter related. And if something belongs there that you know about you can contribute. Link to your blog or site too.

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