Twitter Lists

1 11 2009

After a crazy week, I’m finally getting around to exploring twitter lists.  For those unfamiliar, twitter lists are a way to organize those you follow or who follow you into lists that others can find (if they are public, there is a private option).  For more information on twitter lists, check out the post on thenextweb.com.

This lists feature creates a more democratic and personal social networking experience.  Until now, the best ways to find out who to follow was to 1. use their suggested user list and/or 2. check out who your friends were following.

The first option means that you would want to follow and be up to date on the postings of companies or celebrities.  The suggested users list is an eclectic group that ranges from Whole Foods to Britney Spears to David Allen.  You might even care about following a few of these folks, but it probably won’t keep you checking twitter or tweeting actively.

The second option assumes that you have friends that are active on twitter.  Most of the discussions about twitter indicates that most users post once and never return (check out slate for their article on “orphaned tweets“).   If your friends are not active posters, then you’re not likely to stick with twitter and will also be a one post wonder.

Why should twitters suggested users be prized above yours or mine?  In fact, the chief exec of twitter has suggested that they shouldn’t be.  These new lists are the way of the future at twitter and the suggested user list will be killed or evolved.  The new twitter lists feature provide better possibilities for finding twitter users to follow.  It provides a practical purpose for using twitter.  Finding out who my fellow library tweeters are following and being able to cull the librarians from their friends provides twitter with a networking angle.  If these users provide public posts and lists, I can extend my degrees of separation and find more librarians and create a larger network of librarians on twitter.

I’m also posting this as a slightly delayed response to the challenge posed  by the Internet Librarian, Sarah Houghton-Jan, to create a twitter list and let your community know that it’s there.  I’ve created my librarian list – if you’re a librarian reading this and you’re not on it, DM me or reply @quirkster to get on it.  While you’re at it, create your own librarian list and add me to it so that YOUR librarian followers can find me.

(Note: I’m not so much invested in the medium of twitter as I am in the fact that it has the potential to create a findable network of tech savvy early adopter librarians)

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