Updated on October 18, 2009
If youâ€™re following hundreds or perhaps thousands of people on Twitter, keeping up with whatâ€™s happening is a time-consuming task. As you connect with more people, thatâ€™s not getting any easier.
I got an invitation to the test and so Iâ€™ve created a first list, what I call Communicators: people who I find interesting and who arenâ€™t necessarily communicators in their jobs (PR, marketing, employee communication, etc), just who I think are great communicators on Twitter.
Itâ€™s a â€˜Twitter publicâ€™ list (you can also create private lists) so as long as you have a Twitter account, you can follow it. Itâ€™s not complete so Iâ€™ll be adding some more people to it. I donâ€™t want to get it too wieldy, though, so it will probably hover around the 100 mark. Thatâ€™s about 10 percent of all those who I currently follow.
From your Twitter account you can also check which lists created by others youâ€™re included in.
I wondered what real use such lists would have if you use a third-party app for your Twitter interactions â€“ TweetDeck, for instance, as I do â€“ rather than go to the Twitter website.
Good news coming, says Twitter:
[â€¦] We started working on this [lists] feature because of the frequent requests we received from people who were looking for a better way to organize information on Twitter. Of course, that means not just twitter.comâ€”the Platform team will follow up in a few days with information on the Lists API. This will allow developers to add support for Lists into your favorite Twitter apps.
Great: if TweetDeck and other third-party developers add support for Twitter Lists to their apps, this new feature will no doubt take off. Iâ€™d certainly do more lists and add those to my app, probably instead of using TweetDeckâ€™s built-in groups feature.
Twitter Lists is a beta so how it develops will probably change. It could do with some additional features. RSS, for instance: Iâ€™d like the option to subscribe to a list via RSS. I do that now with my followers (I donâ€™t read tweets that way, incidentally: getting tweets in an RSS feed is extremely useful for easily searching content by keywords).
Organizing the increasing amounts of information weâ€™re exposed to every day and focusing on that which you want to give your attention to, is a real chore.
The more useful tools there are to take the drudgery out of this and automate such tasks, the better.
Related â€“ some good guides are already out there about Twitter Lists: