On Twitter Lists

Twitter lists have been live for awhile, and you can now add people publicly or privately to lists. Yes, I’m a bit late writing about this, but I’ve been too busy writing my NaNoWriMo novel (yes, I know the site’s down as I write this, and the tech folks know too) to experiment too much.

The best part of Twitter lists, though? From my LiveJournaling past, it has to be, hands down, the ability to filter your Twitter list and read certain parts separately. This comes in especially handy now, as I know more people through those events than through anything else. This is the time of year that my list of blogs explodes, my IM buddy list explodes, and of course, my Twitter feed explodes. Some people update a lot. Some of my Twitter followers follow each other. It makes sense to read the prolific Twitterers separately from the less prolific. I haven’t had to do this, but it is an action that can now be taken if needed, and I wouldn’t be surprised if other people do this already, especially because lists can be made private.

Another perk is that you can add someone to a Twitter list without following them. I like this because there are just some accounts, mostly businesses, who I don’t really want to read daily but still want to keep up with. Since I want to be able to read my Twitter feed in a reasonable period while maintaining a conversation with my followers, having these accounts on a list to read separately at my own leisure is a great idea on Twitter’s part.

Then there’s the idea of telling someone’s personality from their list memberships. This is where Twitter went wrong. Yes, I like the idea of adding any user to a list. However, there should be an option of excluding yourself from list membership, or of letting only your followers add you to a list. Without this option available, Twitter lists are open to a lot of abuse, and next thing you know, some jerk you knew in middle school could think a good idea of revenge is adding you to a jerkwad list on Twitter.

Don’t worry. Just about all you can tell from my list memberships is that I do NaNoWriMo. Twenty-five NaNoWriMo list memberships can’t be wrong.

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