“Twitter Lists” & followee management

Rumor has it that Twitter is doing a slow-roll deployment of a new feature they call ‘Twitter Lists’.  This may address what I believe to be Twitter’s biggest shortcoming.  Management of your “following” list – the people you ‘follow’, which I’ll call “followees” – is weak at best.   Sure, some twitter clients (e.g. TweetDeck and Seesmic) allow you to group your followees, but they are pretty clunky.  And I’ve yet to find a client that lists “orphaned” followees: those which you’ve not put into any group at all. Other clients like Twalala and Brizzly allow you to MUTE individual followees; about as precise as a sledgehammer (but some jobs do call for a sledgehammer).

Since I’ve not seen the new ‘Twitter Lists’ feature, I don’t know how useful it will be, but here’s how I envision management of followees… one word “TAGs”:

Let’s say you have hundreds of followees: some are newsies, some are US Senators (from your state and elsewhere), others are your own personal friends (from your town, and from far away).  You might ‘tag’ followees like this:

  • MySenator = politics, local
  • NextDoorNeighbor = friend, local
  • SenatorFromOtherState = politics
  • FoxNews = news
  • MyTownNewspaper = news, local
  • FriendFromAnotherTown = friend

With your followers set up like that, you could (if a client supports it) create groups based on the tags, and focus on only the things you are really in the mood for at any given moment.  You might set a group of “friends” as highest priority, and tweets from FriendFromAnotherTown & NextDoorNeighbor show up.  Or maybe you are in a mood to only deal with local stuff, so a group for that tag would display tweets from MyTownNewspaper, NextDoorNeighbor & MySenator.

Of course, it would be essential to quickly list every followee that has no tag at all, so that you could find anybody you’ve accidentally missed.

If you wanted to get really sexy, it might be neat to be able to direct message everyone with a particular tag,…. like say you want to DM everyone with a ‘friends’ tag.

Well, you get the idea.  I’m looking forward to ‘Twitter Lists’, whatever incarnation they might take.



~ by Patrick Larkin Jr on October 29, 2009.

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