Twitter Lists: Recovering the Magic of Discovery on Twitter

@jmacofearth - Twitter - john mcelhenney -

Back in the day, Twitter created LISTS and LISTS were good.

Then Formulists came along and the lists became full of auto-curated “auto-lists” and the LIST lost a lot of its magic.

Then Twitter almost demoted the list completely. Check your twitter page, can you find LISTS? And about 95% of the time I visit “Lists Subscribed To” the page is broken. And (this is a good thing) Twitter has removed the “XX-user is a member of 2,444 lists” stat, that was leading to more gaming. (Question: Would Twitter be a better place if they eliminated the Follower and Following counts from the system all together? It would probably be a lot less gamey.)

Today, I’m ready to declare that THE TWITTER LIST is BACK. Let me explain.

Now under the @Connect Tab are little mentions that look like this:

The new @Connect tab re-instates the power of the LIST

The new @Connect TAB reinstates the power of the LIST. Now, when someone adds you to a LIST, they have manually included you in a group (theoretically of like-minded people) and perhaps you would be interested in the others in your new “included” group. And sure enough, a quick view of the list above, from 100pctSolutions and violá, there is a whole new group of people I ‘might’ like to follow.

In the world of Twitter Discovery (trying to find people who are of interest to your objectives) LISTS are invaluable. Now that the auto-lists company is gone, the value of the hand-curated LIST on Twitter is a great place to start looking for others to join in conversation.

And as I say all the time, Twitter is a two-way communication protocol. If you tweet something the good thing to do is actually BE ONLINE so you can respond to any RTs or conversations that get kicked off by your tweets.

I understand the “broadcast” mentality. I understand the tendency towards “scheduling your tweets,” but I am against it. Maybe if I were DellFactoryOutlet and my revenue was proportionate to the number of tweets and responses I get during the course of each 24-hour cycle, but I’m not.

I am a person. I am an individual. I am part of the marketing/advertising complex that can make or break Twitter adoption and usage. And of course, I am not the Twitter police.

I believe in the philosophy, “I am here now.” So if you catch me tweeting at 4am, it’s because I woke up early, or I haven’t gone to bed yet. Some of the conversations I have online in odd hours, via Twitter or Facebook or TXT… Well, we are all wanting to “connect.” That’s what makes social media work. Being social.

If I use Buffer or Hootsuite to “broadcast” a promo tweet several times during the day and night, I’m merely couponing the twitterverse. It’s okay, it’s just not the way I hope to use and encourage the use of Twitter. I have my radical ideas. Auto-scheduled tweets are not part of them.

@jmacofearth (also seen on Google+: jmacofearth)
permalink: The Twitter Way page for all the Twitter Ideas in one place.

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This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. I love lists, but I don’t share your disdain for auto-curated lists. In some cases, they’re actually useful. I just did a guest post on Michael Q. Todd’s blog showing how to use ifttt to make lists of a) people who RT or @ message you, and b) people who participate in a hashtag chat. Both of those are groups I’d like to be able to monitor, and I shouldn’t have to build them by hand.

    1. Thanks Scott. I think you have a good point. Formulists seemed more interested in adding me to lists, lots of lists. Of course it was the users not the system.

    2. Thanks Scott. I think you have a good point. Formulists seemed more interested in adding me to lists, lots of lists. Of course it was the users not the system.

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