Should I give twitter lists another go?
It’s a question I aksed myself towards the end of last year, as my twitter feed grew and grew with no real signs of stopping. After a little bit of pondering I thought that the Christmas/NewYears break was a good chance to bite the bullet and do it. So here we are, a few months down the track, and I’m here to share my experiences with re-looking at twitter lists.
My main motivation for trying to use lists again was the fact that I follow two types of people: There were people I follow, who make my feed interesting, and there are people I follow that I am actually friends with, and communicate with regularly. People who, if you miss a tweet, you are missing out on a part of that person’s life you care about, and you also loose the momentum of the conversations. These are people who I care about and therefore want to see everything that’s happening to them. I realised I was missing tweets from these important people, and I wanted a way to make sure I always saw their tweets. Twitter lists seems like the easiest way to do that.
This is the process I went through to give lists another go:
- Delete all previous lists
- Start from scratch and make the titles for new lists. Try to make them specific & meaningful.
- Go through ALL the people you follow and asign people to lists (good chance to cull people you’re no longer interested in following as well!!)
- Go through your @ mentions, to check you have assigned all relevant people you talk with
- Add lists to a list keeping tool
Things to remember before you start:
- Lists don’t have to be definitive. And by that I mean that just because you have a list called “People I’ve Met” doesn’t mean you have to have every person in your twitter feed who you’ve met in real life in that list. It’s your list, and you can make it however you want. I originally used lists as a way of categorising people. Every person I followed was in a list, and really that seems good if you things to be just so, and if you want to read about certain categories (it would be quite useful if you used twitter for multiple reasons and needed to keep track of different pars of your online life). But for me, this wasn’t important, and so I needed to break away from that thinking, and remember that the list doesn’t have to be ‘complete’. Some people will be listless, and some people *could* be in lasts, but aren’t.
- Your lists are flexible- they should (and will) change over time)
- Not everyone has to be in a list
Step By Step:
These are the new twitter lists that I created. I chose just a few topics that covered the people I MOST wanted to stay in touch with. For me I chose “Crafty” for the people who inspire me with ideas, “I’ve Met You!” for people I’ve met at blog meets etc. “Local Tweeps” is for people that live in the same area as me, whether I’ve met them or not. “Collaborators” is for people who I work on blogs/websites/jobs/etc with. “Friendly Peeps” are just people who I seem to have regular converstations with on twitter who don’t fit into any other category. And finally, “IRL” is obviously just people I know in real life! I save this for close friends, not just people I’ve met before.
After I’ve created the lists I’m happy with, I start going through the people i follow. I had got myself to a stage where managing my twitter was too hard, so part of this process was CULLING people who I wasn’t interested in anymore, or who posted annying stuff like just links etc.
When you’re going through the people you follow you will most likely have the problem of deciding what to do with people who fit into more than one list. What you do is up to you, but I decided to put people into no more than two lists. So if someone lived close to me, was a friend in real life, and posted lots of crafty things, I wouldn’t put them into all three (four really!) lists. I might choose “IRL”, and “Crafty”. If they didn’t post crafty things that often, I might JUST put them in “IRL”. Remember that the point of this is to streamline your twitter reading. You don’t want to jumble it up and read one person’s updates many times over!
Once I’d gone through all my followers and either unfollowed them, added them to a list, or left them alone (yes, you CAN leave people who don’t fit into anything!!), I had to set up a way or viewing them. On my mac I used Tweetdeck to follow each list, and the Twitter app to follow my whole feed, mentions, and direct messages. How you decide to use it is totally up to you, I just found using the two apps worked best for me.
So there you go. That’s my pretty simple guide to how and why you might like to use twitter lists again!