Tech Talk Tuesday: Twitter Lists Are A Dream For Marketers And Moms Alike

It’s been a while since I’ve introduced any new technology to y’all over here. It’s not that there hasn’t been any, but nothing has really grabbed me as much as the recent burst of twitter list making add ons.

Back on September 30th Twitter announced that lists would be tested in a small closed group. Some would call this a closed beta, maybe even an alpha. Even though twitter is a lightfooted, independent company, they’re still a little slower than the startups that rely so heavily on them. While the rest of us are waiting for Twitter Lists to become a reality two startups emerged in the last few days that make great twitter lists. I’ll tell you who they are, and I’ll tell you why you need them.

Twillist is the first site I was alerted to. With twillist you can make lists of twitter users and share them with the world. Twillist is great because of it’s users. Naturally the techies are using it first, there are great lists being made by Sean Percival, Laurie Percival, Adam Katz and Michael Broukhim. What’s great and different about Twillist? There’s a snazzy button where you can ask to be added to someone’s list. This accomplishes a few incredibly important goals:

  • social media relies on user generated content, without opening your list up to have just anyone edit it, it allows people to add to your list in a tactful manner
  • it spreads the workload out
  • people who have self identified as part of a group are more likely to help you promote that group

Mixtweet is another twitter list site and it’s UI is a little more nimble than Twillist. This morning I made a very short list of Social Media on Mixtweet, I like that I can clip small conversations so I can get back to them later. Why would I want a very small list on Mixtweet?

  • I follow in excess of 3,000 people on twitter, I want to go to panels, conferences and events. I need a way to listen in a quiet space. Lists are quieter
  • Some people seldom update, this means that I might all but forget they are on twitter, small lists help remind me

Lists in general are interesting. For some reason we all like them, the most read blog posts contain lists, magazines live off of them, and now we are listing our friends and coworkers publicly and privately online.

When I consult with companies I try to remind them that social media is exactly the same as every other part of your life. You have two ears and one mouth. By making twitter lists with either of these two add ons (and perhaps eventually with twitter itself) you can listen to groups of people without having to follow them on twitter. Thus reducing some of the extraneous noise.

Socially lists can be fantastic, but I’m going to give you a little advice you should probably cling to. If you make a list of 10 of the best (or 12 or 100) what you’ve done is tell thousands of people that they are not good enough to be on your list. Those thousands of people may be too polite to tell you this, but they think you’re a jackass and a social climber. If you must make a top tweeter list, make it private. People will hate you a tiny bit less.

Twillist and Mixtweet are both new and buggy, but they both add immense value to anyone who is a social media enthusiast or starter. If I were a marketer or a publicist I’d be using Mixtweet right now to make lists of the people I actually want to listen to, and I’d be keeping that private.

Facebook Comments

  • I just followed a bunch of people from a list that @parentella put together for those of us attending BWE this week. Pretty cool how fast I was able to connect with all those people and it automatically sorted out those I was already following.

  • The lists are a good idea. There is a ridiculous number of people that I want to follow. I am always torn because there is only so much time in the day.

  • Hi Jessica, you missed TweepML on your list of Twitter lists sites. Actually, TweepML is the most popular of them all, as you can see on this graphic:
    http://siteanalytics.compete.com/tweepml.org+twillist.com+mixtweet.com/

    You can easily create and share a list of Twitter users, and let people follow them with a single click.

    The service is free and you are going to *love* it.

    • Thanks for the write-up Jessica! We’re working hard to clear out the bugs and add a lot of nifty features to Twillist; this is a very early version of the product, but we promise everything will get slicker and awesomer in short order.

      Marcelo – to be fair, TweepML has been out for a while, Compete hasn’t even started tracking us yet ;) …we do love the service though and don’t necessarily think we overlap directly (TweepML for instance isn’t an environment for actually reading tweets).

      Cheers,
      Michael Broukhim
      @broukhim
      Twillist Co-Founder

    • Jessica Gottlieb

      I’m going to try out tweepml next week. Basically I try out new stuff when people let me know it’s out there, so don’t leave me off your list and I won’t leave you off of mine. :)

  • Pingback: Good Goog » Blog Archive » Lists or How Twitter Has Taken Over My Life()

  • I had no idea about any of this. Now I’m going to try myself.

    Also that point at the end..wonderful! :D