(Formulists is dead. Long live the Twitter List! Here’s my response: Twitter Lists: Recovering the Magic of Discovery on Twitter)
Let me get this off my chest early.
The Lists shown above, auto-generated by @fomulists are CRAP! If I could block myself from people’s @formulists lists I would. I have sent DM Tweets to both people on their Twitter account asking for that “feature.” How can I block myself from your spammy lists?” You can reach them too at @nat_mich and @raul_f .
Let’s check it out.
When Twitter created Lists they quickly became a way for people to build TRIBES around a certain topic. As your List count grew, it was clear to see that people were enjoying your tweets and felt that you belonged with them, in their List, based around something that was REAL and IMPORTANT to them. Of course there were people who started building lists in order to win friends, gain followers, and basically abuse the trust system that true “community” relies on.
Enter @fomulists. Now, by setting a few AUTO functions on your Twitter account, using their SPAMMY tool, you can generate LISTS without any value at all. You can create a list of who happened to follow you on a particular day, or week, or month. You can generate a LIST of people who mention Lady Gaga. You can build these AUTO-Generated LISTS, without having to think about them at all. And what this does is, it creates Lists that have ZERO value and ZERO discovery potential. I guess it makes it look like you are really active on Twitter. It makes it seem like you are included and have created a large number of followers, and followees. But it’s crap.
As part of my discovery process I still check out who has added me to their lists. Because I want to see who they are, what the list they created is about, and how I might fit into that TRIBE. It is possible that the other people on the LIST are of interest to me to. After all, in some ways we are in the same LIST/TRIBE as a result of someone taking deliberate action to put us together.
An example is my Trust-Network list. This is a very short list. And each of these people are folks I have done business with. And people who I would recommend without qualification. Hand-picked people in my Trust Network. I would suggest you follow each of them, if their subject matter expertise interests you.
With @formulists all you have is someone’s Name for the list, “recently followed” is a pretty common “setting.” And then @formulists does it all for you. Okay, so now let’s see if there is value in one of these LISTs. Let’s pick one at random from the image above.
Let’s see. So Eric has not done me any favors in limiting the list to a manageable number. If I KNEW Eric and I was interested in who “recently-followed” him, I would then have to look through 500 Tweeters to pick out the gold from the chafe. Not gonna happen. So let’s see what the first few people on the list look like.
Deals, spammers and an Emma Roberts fan/stalking club. (she’s the young actress from Harry Potter, right?)
Do you see anything that looks interesting in this small sampling of tweets? Do you see any reason you would want to continue looking through Eric’s “list” to find other like-minded Tweeps?
NO! And here’s why. They are NOT like-minded people. There is no connection between them, except for the one where Eric set up an Auto rule that is building this crappo list on the fly. So ANY spammer can follow Eric and violá they are added to this LIST. So it makes spammers jobs a lot easier. But it makes the “discovery” process on Twitter a bit more challenging.
AND what used to be a form of authenticity or authority on Twitter (how many people have actually added you to a hand-picked list) is now simply another meaningless stat. Like how many people follow you.
Here’s the real question. When you TWEET something, how many of your followers actually visit the link or read what you have broadcast? How many people (most of them might be bots, scammers, and auto-tweeting mlm marketers) respond, or ReTweet your thoughts?
What @formulists has done is taken the value out of the Twitter List. Twitter would be well servered to eliminate @formulists access to the Twitter API and get rid of this problem. Until they do, the LIST will be another miss.
Or maybe Twitter could start TRIBES and not let anyone AUTO-attach themselves to anyone else. But that might be bad for business in Twitter’s corporate mind. In Twitter’s business, more is more, and more is more potential for revenue.
And mark my words. Twitter ADS are coming. They’ve got to be. No matter how popular Twitter is, the couponing resurgence will not last for ever. And Twitter has got to start making money. Soon.
Other posts about kicking ass in social media:
- RE: The Death of Pay Per Click Advertising (PPC): Not So Fast, Let’s Examine
- 6 Step Twitter Growth Process: Results +753
- Let’s Talk About Your Evil Plan(tm) – Yeah, But What Else Are You Doing?
- The Quick Course in Online Marketing: Big Picture (Social Media, Search Engine, eMail, Content Marketing)
- 8 Steps Getting Social Media To 5 Goals & 2 Wins the [INFOGRAPHIC]
- ROI ROI ROI and Social Media; We Need to Have This Discussion Again
- Social Media MBA – The Reading List
See all of the Social Media Marketing Videos on the Social U. page.