I’ve been hearing that all the follow Friday stuff is passé and that we should instead be creating Twitter lists. Um, okay, but I don’t see how to do that in Seesmic Desktop, which is how I interact with Twitter. What’s the big deal with these lists and how can I create one?
First off, at this point in time, you’ll need to actually log in to your Twitter account in your Web browser and actually use the Web-based interface to create lists if you want to experiment or play around with Twitter lists. Now, are they worth the effort? I am still unsure about that one. I will say that they’re very useful for organizing who you follow (for example, I have a Twitter list that’s just film folks, both those in the industry and film reviewers) but since I don’t follow thousands of people, I don’t know that I need to compartmentalize them that way.
On the other hand, for other people who are looking at who I follow, it’s unquestionably nicer to find a small group with something in common (film, geography, an alma mater, whatever) than to have to wade through hundreds or even thousands of randomly sorted people that they’re following. That might really be the greatest benefit of Twitter lists, at the end of the day, as a way to help others see who you like.
Anyway, if you go to your Twitter home page (just go to http://www.twitter.com/) you will probably see this on the top of the page, as large as life (or even larger!):
If you look just a bit lower, you’ll see that your Twitter account stats now also include the number of lists you’re on too, shown as “Listed”:
Nice, and definitely a bit of a vote of confidence if you’re on more than one or two.
Scroll down just a little bit on your stats column and you’ll see that it shows what Twitter lists you’ve created, if any:
I’m going to click on “New list”, and get a pop-up window:
I’ll name this “film folks”, though I’ll later change my mind and retitle it just “film” to keep things nice and short. I opt to keep the list public and click on “Create list”.
Now it’ll create the list and give me the chance to find a few people to add:
I’ll add my friend Christian Toto, a film reviewer, by typing in his name. In the search results it shows:
There he is, as @totomovies. To add him to my list, I’ll click on the little grey box to the right that has a few darker grey lines on it. I see a pop-up menu that shows what Twitter Lists I’ve created:
A click on the box adjacent to “Film Folks” and he’s in.
Now I’ll scroll up on the same page and go back up to the search box. This time I’ll enter my friend and fellow film critic Erik Boles:
He shows up in the search results and I do the same thing.
Now, one more addition. Roger Ebert, one of the best known film critics. When I search for Roger, I end up on his Twitter home page, where the results are a bit different but that same grey lined box shows up:
Notice that unlike the previous two, here it shows that I don’t follow him (by the omission of “following”). No worries, I can add him to a Twitter List anyway, even if that’s a bit confusing at that point. Just click the same box, choose the same list, and he’s added.
I added a few more people and you can see what I ended up with by clicking on this link:
Nice and neat. Now, go forth, create some lists of your own, and, if you’re so inclined, please feel free to add @DaveTaylor or my film alter ego @FilmBuzz to it as you go. And, heck, for that matter, did you know I also write a popular film blog? Check it out: Dave On Film.com.