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November 01, 2009


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Katy Wrathall

I thought Twitter lists were a good idea initially, especially as I normally don't have access to Tweetdeck or similar. But I do have a niggling concern they could become a popularity contest. I think I shall probably make them private, after all they are personal to me and not much use to anyone else.

Sarah Barker

My thoughts...well I first thought lists, what fun and merrily went and set up a few, the most obvious one being librarians. Then other lists followed and I gave one the name greatforalaugh meaning they were fun people to tweet with. But what if the people on this list misinterpreted the meaning behind the name. What if people felt they should be on the list and a few more what ifs. Looking at some lists I've been listed on, they really are quite bizarre. I originally set up a few lists and took my time to come up with a non-offensive name and then I thought, why am I doing this? I use Tweetdeck as my main twitter interface. I already have everyone in columns and can filter out conversations or zoom into conversations when I want. At work I use the web interface but am usually way too busy to tweet, so it's a cursory glance only. I have now deleted all my lists except for my librarians which will be useful at work. I felt that it all boils down to a popularity contest and that I didn't join twitter to follow lists. I follow people and the uniqueness of the individual.

Sarah Nicholas

Yes, well said! Lists are a typical example of rendering complicated, for the sake of appearing constantly innovative, an idea initially beautiful in its simplicity. Perhaps I'm a technological luddite? Perhaps not, for I have embraced certain enhancements that did not interfere with the basic follower/follower concept underpinning Twitter, and I happily privately organise people within TweetDeck.

I agree with tweets from @sarahgb and @SmilyLibrarian re lists becoming a popularity contest and rendering emotive the most simple exchange of tweets with those who have not chosen to list you in some amusing fashion or other.

I must admit a degree of cynicism re the timing of the release of lists. It came hot on the heels of the buzz surrounding Google Wave and what I felt to be a brief lull in tweeting in favour of waving. Hm.

Helen Stein

Every time I sit at the PC now Nicholas Carr's article Is Google Making us Stupid (http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200807/google) sneaks into my mind and then earlier I saw this Peggy Orenstein article (http://bit.ly/1lFZLd) and thought about all the kerfuffle with lists on Twitter. I haven't and won't make any lists on Twitter. I have my reasons for using Twitter and manage that use well enough without lists. Pretty much all the discussion thus far seems to have been about the fact that there are already ways of managing Twitter streams and after that it's about not offending people. Overnight I found I was on 8 lists, which is fine. I'm not going to do anything about getting off them, partly because I don't mind the ones I seem to be on and partly because the effort of discovering that I'm on the 'stupid idiot' list of someone would be way more than I could deal with! I will be self-binding, however, in an offline place where I can read, write and think without the constant clacking of keyboards, bleeping mobiles and bleed out from too-loud head-phones. At all other times I will be the one providing all these distractions! And now I have to go as Mr Stein has dished up our meal and is standing at the foot of the stairs with a knife and fork... (perhaps edit that last bit Phil!)

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