How I use Twitter lists

I’ve been a follower of Phil Gerbyshak for some time now; earliest I can recall reading content from Phil was when he published to the fantastic SlackerManager blog – sadly no longer active. Phil always manages to seek out not just the easily discoverable content, the stuff that most are discussing in relation to the social media web, but also plenty of little gems that surprise you. I spotted this one today:

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So I read this article. What I expected was a reminder that lists are useful and don’t get used enough. However, right in the middle of the post, there’s a great point about how a list can be used as a gathering point for users with a similar interest, enabling a disparate group to monitor a flow of communication:

While moderating a Facebook Group, I realized the importance of a Twitter list for the group to connect on the Twitter platform.  This list can then be followed by each new member who joins the group.

Being a member of this type of list is something I’ve experienced before as a member of Becta’s Exemplar Network. Having been listed a few times by some followers, I know that others are following me, but didn’t generally dip into the stream very often to catch up on conversations; I guess it just wasn’t that sort of group (and to be honest, most of the other Network participants weren’t really making much use of Twitter at the time).

My own use of lists is slightly different. Having built up quite a number of followers, I pick up those who typically post content on the periphery of my interests, and add them to an appropriate list. For example, @philgerbyshak often talks about leadership and management, so I might add Phil to my ‘leadership’ list. Once I’ve added a user to a list, I may decide to unfollow too.

In this way, I am able to dip in an out of content that is interesting to me, filtering down to a point where my Twitter stream is somewhat refined (in my case lots of real people, and less organisations and services). When I want to catch up with what latest functionality has been included in @bufferapp or @ifttt, I can just head over to the list and review a very focused stream of content. I suppose it’s a bit like organising your Google Reader feeds into folders, enabling you to read content in a single subject area, rather than a broad range of content that isn’t necessarily cohesive.

How do you use Twitter lists?

3 Responses

  1. Dorien Morin-van Dam December 17, 2011 / 18:56

    Thanks for quoting me 🙂 I am thrilled to see the reach of my blog go beyond the pond! Phil and I are in a Tribe together in Triberr, a great tweet multiplying group. As a general rule, we tweet out each other’s blog posts, but we of course should read and comment on them as well.

    I am also glad there was a little bit of insight in the post, not just the usual. I’ve done a lot of local networking and started a new social media networking group and instead of having a featured speaker when we meet, we have a featured business we all tweet, blog, post and like that day. Lots of business owner who join the group are social media newbies, therefore the Twitter list made great sense.

    Glad to connect.

  2. Fred Kane December 20, 2011 / 13:15

    I may finally be understanding the Twitter List thing now. Thanks to you both.

    • Chris December 20, 2011 / 13:30

      Hi, Fred

      Glad you found this and Dorien’s post helpful in figuring out Twitter lists. Also particularly nice of you to leave a positive comment and let me know you liked it!


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