In just a few years Twitter has become one of the most valuable a resources on the web for disseminating information. The variety of information you can consume via Twitter is astounding. The key is creating productive ways to filter that information quickly. With the recent introduction of Twitter Lists, this task has become much easier to accomplish.
Before Twitter I was an avid Google Reader user, which was where I got most, if not all, of my information from.
As Twitter continues to grow the amount of information flowing can seem overwhelming. The amount of knowledge that’s shared everyday on Twitter is simply astounding.
Twitter isn’t “just” a micro-blogging service. If used properly it’s an extremely valuable content curation tool. I want to follow industry leaders, moguls, bloggers, thinkers, experts and people who produce great content on Twitter. I want to follow the best of the best and hone that information into knowledge.
The One-Fifty List
As you continue to grow and nurture your Twitter connections you may begin to find the information you’re consuming (and hopefully creating) may begin to feel diluted. As the number of people that you follow grows so does the level of noise showing up in your stream. Twitter lists are a great way to help you organize and digest information more clearly.
Using lists to categorize and identify people can help you reduce the level of noise and focus on just one segment of the users you’re following.
For example, I’ve created a list that’s sole purpose is to help me identify and stay connected to people that I know are interested in sharing like-minded concepts. It’s called my One-Fifty List. Rather than sending out one generic tweet to my entire timeline aimed at no one in particular, I can develop and cultivate my One-Fifty List (along with my full followers list) and connect with them in a way that makes it easier for me to target a specific demographic which, in turn, strengthens my connection with that group of people because I’m far more likely to be able to drill down on certain topics which is far more useful for me and my followers.
The people in my One-Fifty list are people that I feel are more likely to make a connection with on similar topics. A Twitter quid pro quo. Once you have a list established your idea is no longer going out to your entire list of followers, it’s going out to other people you have connected with and their followers with their “endorsement” on the subject. Play that forward and once you have managed to create this experience, the potential that your Tweets will be retweeted continues to grow exponentially. The people that are added to that particular list are people that have a proven history that they’re more likely to interact and share good content with their own followers. In turn, I can occasionally filter out some of the other noise and focus on my list.
Creating Valuable Twitter Lists for Content Curation
One thing to note is that there are a finite number of lists you can create at any one time. As of right now twenty is the maximum amount of lists you can create so you don’t need to go crazy and start creating lists that are too specific. Finding a balance between not too broad and not to exclusive is something you’ll have a better understanding of once you’ve created a few lists of your own.
You can also add people to multiple lists depending on how you decide which lists work best for you. This keeps you from having to pigeon hole someone into just one category.
Another great thing about creating lists that you can easily digest is that you don’t even need to be following a person to add them to a list. You might think John Q. Public has some kick ass information that you want to keep tabs on but you don’t necessarily want them clogging up your feed you can simply add them to a list and you’ll only see updates from them when you decide to open the list. This allows you to keep the noise in your main feed at a manageable level without having to miss out on important information.
Once you have created lists other people can subscribe to your list as well. If you’ve created the definitive list of mommy bloggers (or whatever you decide to create) other people can simply subscribe to that list and take advantage of your list of who’s who in the mommy blogger community.
You can see all my Twitter lists here http://twitter.com/#!/jamespoling/lists. If one of them grabs your attention feel free to subscribe to it and hopefully you’ll find some real value in there. If you have any suggestions of people that should be added to a list feel free to me a Tweet and let me know.
If you haven’t already, go make a few lists, feel free to share them in the comments and give people the opportunity to be introduced to a new group of “experts” on whatever subject you’ve chosen to guide your list.