Twitter Lists: Use Them Don’t Abuse Them

Once upon a time, the introduction of the List on Twitter was a big deal. Today as the twitterverse gets spammier and spammier, Lists are also getting gummed up. Enter the newest List Auto-Generator:

formulists builds useless twitter lists

Any time the word “auto” is used in conjunction with Twitter I want to pull out my “unfollow finger.”

So what’s wrong with a little bit of auto-listing, auto-generating, auto-organizing Twitter magic? I guess nothing is wrong with the concept, I mean we all need ways to streamline our social media experience. BUT… When I see “this list was auto-generated by @formulists” I don’t get a warm fuzzy, and here’s why.

When lists were created they began to be used by actually Tweeters and humans as a way to group the important people in our tweeting universe. It was quite an honor to be added to someone’s Twitter list. After all, if they took the time to actually tag/add me to one of their 50 lists, it put me in quite an elite group. It’s like someone cared not only about following me, but about adding me to their IN list.

Now, instead of being excited when my LISTED number goes up, I check it and am underwhelmed by the number of auto-generated Twitter List. Sure, maybe you set up a filter to add certain keywords, or tags to your lists. BUT, when the “social media leaders-3” list contains me along with 500 other listers, well, it’s not so impressive. So now the spammers and tweescamers have found out how to gum up the list system using these type of tools, to generate new lists and add themselves to them. Along with the Chris Brogans of the world, if you list yourself along side him enough times, perhaps you will gain some tweet cred.

So I once said, LISTS were the new currency for Twitter authority. Now I’m wondering what the next thing will be to thin down the PROMOTIONAL Tweets from the human-generated, not-autoed, real-time tweets.


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