Are Tweedledee and Tweedledum on Your Twitter List?

mad_hatterI’ve been waiting to wade in on this whole Twitter lists discussion so I could watch and see what people do with it. I already use my own lists extensively in Tweetdeck and Seesmic to sort my connections into more easily manageable groups and I really don’t use the Twitter web site that much, so what’s the point right?

There has been huge discussion over segmenting, and even “curation” of lists as a way to manage the flow of information and create channels. Chris Brogan talks about marginalization as one of the possible results, Scoble points out the sheer silliness of even giving a rats butt about whether you’re on lists or not, but others have adopted lists whole-heartedly and it’s the newest meme of memes.

It’s been fun to see what people have done with lists, get an idea of how they see their Twitterverse and how they group people. I’ve spent quite a lot of time on Listorious checking out the lists there, and some are pretty interesting. There’s even a list of the top 140 lists.

I found some lists I liked and scanned them for people I didn’t know, looked at their profile and followed them. I even contacted some directly (imagine that) and I hope that’s one way people will be using these lists. As a way to find new and interesting people to talk to. One might think the lists feature would increase the followers of those interesting individuals but on second thought I’m thinking people may follow lists rather than the individuals and then those people have lost an opportunity to connect. There’s a big difference for me between connecting with a person and scanning a list, especially if it’s a long list where the listees only show a few tweets before they are drowned out by the rest of the list!

Poynter wrote: “Their ease of use and additional features could shake up the way Twitter is used altogether, adding new elements of customization, discovery and curation. This makes Twitter Lists something for every journalist, editor and news organization to keep a keen eye on.” in his post on lists, and it got me to thinking about how one of the things I like about Twitter is it’s whimsical nature. I find the most interesting and unexpected information from random posts. If everybody is in a neat little line what will I miss? Sure, I appreciate the ability to pull together a list of news sources so I can quickly scan them, but I do that already in Seesmic.

I made a short attempt at creating lists on my account but as I sorted through my friends and followers I couldn’t help but feel I was missing some important people and going through my small following became a chore I just didn’t want to deal with. Maybe if I could add to lists in the Twitter clients instead I’d use it more but for now I’m not really into list building. I’m into communicating and finding new people to do that with. If their on a list cool, but I want to connect with people not lists.