Twitter Lists are where it’s at.

Twitter Lists = the Kewl Kids’ Table.

Seriously. If you end up on someone else’s List, it pretty much means you are the most awesome thing alive. You are, indeed, all THAT as well as a bag of chips. You, essentially, rock.

Because Twitter Lists take effort, and if you’re on a list, it means someone thought you were actually worth the effort. I urge you to do a search and see what Twitter Lists you are on. Here’s how:

Twitter Profile Page of Andi-Roo1. Go to your Twitter profile page. Mine looks like this:

2. On the left side of your profile, find these tabs:

  • Tweets
  • Following
  • Followers
  • Favorites
  • Lists — Click on Lists.

3. Clicking on “Lists” will take you to the Lists to which you are subscribed. This includes any Lists you have created, as well as any Lists you are following which were created by other hoopy froods. I’m only following a few, because I barely take the time to check out my own Lists, much less those of other people.

But that’s all irrelevant.

4. At the top of your Twitter Lists, you will see this: “Lists / Subscribed to / Member of”. Going into your lists automatically defaults to “Subscribed to”, but we want to look at “Member of”, so click on that.

Tweet Stars5. Holy crap!

I’m on quite a few Twitter Lists!

Most of them are favorable.

Several are Twitter Lists created by my Twitter pals. Others are writerly types of Twitter Lists. One is @UniteBlue, a group of Democrats. Some of them are my fellow Triberr mates. I’m even on a Triberr campaign List.

But I’m on a meanie-pants List, too: “ReReProgressives: Suspected of riding the shortbus to school during their formative years.”

Not providing the link here, because, FUCK YOU, that’s why.

At first it hurt my feelings to find myself on a List like this, because it would just never occur to me to put together a List of people I don’t like. I just avoid them, or in worst case scenarios, block them. Or rant about them and move on. I try not to actively hold on to people who, by my best estimation, suck.

I got over it, though. And here’s why: This guy is actually doing me a favor. The more Twitter Lists I’m on, the better I look, regardless of what the Twitter Lists individually indicate. This a-hole is inadvertently helping my stats. He’s giving me a boost.

So I haven’t contacted him, sniveling and whining, “Please, Sir, remove me from your hurtful List!” I haven’t blocked him or his cohorts. I haven’t said anything at all. Till now.

Don’t tell him I told you, okay?

Twitter Lists are fun.

Now that you know what Twitter Lists include your name, it’s time to think about what kind of Twitter Lists you might want to create, and how they might be useful. The Twitter Lists to which I belong somewhat mirror the kinds of Twitter Lists I have created {writerly, news updates, blogging, etc}.

I also have additional Twitter Lists that help me figure out what to retweet when I’m on a retweeting kick.

Here are my favorites, for various reasons:

Buddy Jesus Tweets1. Science and-or Atheism: I’m a big lover of facts. I kind of shun religion, although I have several friends of various faiths who still love me, regardless of my heathen ways.

I used to have these two topics as separate entities, but I realized that was stupid. Sometimes science is funny, and atheism is full of facts. The two topics had a lot of overlap.

I like to read the material in this List, and sometimes I like to share it with others.

2. Inspirational: One might find it odd that I would praise science and atheism, and yet also find joy in inspirational and motivational tweets. I don’t see this as a strange juxtaposition, however, because a lack of religion does not necessarily mean a lack of morals. And besides, I’m a big fan of spiritualism and self-love. Some people say, “God bless you!” I, instead, say, “You can do it!” We are each lifting each other in the best way we know how. If your way works for you, that is awesome. My way works well for me.

3. Funnies: When I have time for nothing else, this is the one List I seldom skip. The jokes are typically pretty good up in here, and the laughs keep coming. Of all the Twitter Lists I keep or follow, this one is my favorite. I add to it periodically, so the material stays fresh and covers a wide spectrum.

Twitter Lists are useful.

When you’re working on a campaign or project or event, it’s helpful to have all your twitter-peeps in one place. This is probably the most helpful use of Twitter Lists. I’m currently enmeshed in a Triberr campaign as well as a writing event. Keeping track of my peers is infinitely easier when I place them each on the appropriate List. If you use Twitter to communicate with others, I highly recommend this practice.

Twitter Lists are great for parents.

When you create a new List, you are offered the option of making it “public” or “private”. When keeping up with family members, I strongly urge you to choose “private” if your sole purpose of creating the list is to follow and not interact.

My son and I do not interact on Twitter. We typically use Facebook private messaging, or just text each other, if we communicate online. He isn’t interested in my online shenanigans, much to my chagrin. So I try to not bother him with it too much.

You don't understandNow that I’m building a platform, it would be somewhat harmful to my son to broadcast that I’m following him on Twitter. Plus, DUDE, I’m his MOM. Even though my son will be 20 in a few weeks, he’s still my baby boy, and I still want to know what he’s up to. But since he’s an adult, I owe him his privacy.

Keeping Twitter Lists private is a great compromise. I can still keep my eye on him, without following him. I have a List comprised of my son and all his friends, and I check in on them every so often to ensure nothing illegal or rotten is going down. He knows I’m peeking, but is much less offended at my intrusion now that it’s not made public knowledge. Parents, this is a wonderful way to stay in touch with your kids, without coming across as creepers.

Twitter Lists are great for businesses.

smart business catI’m not a business, per se, so this doesn’t exactly pertain to me, but maybe you will find it useful. In the same way parents can create a private List comprised of their kids and their kids’ friends, businesses can create private Lists of their competitors. The idea here is that you won’t be boosting their stats or providing them with free advertising, and you can’t get into trouble with customers who assume your follows are endorsements.

Sounds smart, so if you’re a business interested in keeping up with your field, you should probably go this route.

Twitter Lists might bite you in the ass.

Speaking of endorsements, be prepared for the hurt feelings of someone who feels they should be on your List, or the indignation of someone who can’t believe so-n-so *IS* on your list. Neither of this has happened to me, yet, since I’m not really anyone important in the grand scheme of things, but I’ve read it can happen, so I thought I’d put it out there for you.

BEWARE.

Twitter Lists versus Following: Is this a bad thing?

It depends on your list. Seriously. Some celebrities tweet some ridiculously hilarious material, and I have some of those enterprising peeps on my Twitter Lists. However, you’ll see I don’t always follow them. That’s because usually celebrities don’t follow back or interact with the likes of small-beans like me. I’m not complaining here, you guys, merely stating a fact.

Tweet ThisI’ve read that putting someone on a List without also following them is cheating, or bad form, or straight-up false. I don’t hold to that theory. I only follow individuals with whom I actually interact, or with whom I honestly want to help boost stats. I’m not “wasting” a follow on someone who will never talk to me.

I am trying very hard to maintain honest stats. I want the number of people I follow to be smaller than the number of people who likewise follow me. I’m not an automatic-follow-back kind of girl. Maybe that will lose me a large number of followers. I don’t care. I am who I am, true to myself, and I’m not going to follow someone just for the sake of appearances. To me, following someone just for the sake of appearances would cheating, bad form, and straight-up false. So if we’re going to call people out for their Twitter practices, I’d say I’m right and they’re wrong.

Ultimately it just doesn’t much matter.

Use Twitter and Twitter Lists as you see fit. Each of us has a different purpose for tweeting. Do what works for you. Follow these tips or throw them out the window.

go to hellAt the end of the day, I’m going to keep on doing what I’m doing, and wish happiness upon you and whatever you’re doing.

Unless you’re that meanie-pants guy who called me a re-re.

You, sir, can go to hell.

2 comments
Wallace1770Mary
Wallace1770Mary

Being the total geek-number-metric person, I found lists and started using them immediately, but was fuzzy on some of the concepts. Fer instance, I have a list named "Andi-Roo" but then, I also have an "Andi-Roo" file on my desktop, which is now including pics from not only the Roo family, but other of my favorite blogging buds. So, my Twitter list mojo let me down a bit, I'm afraid. I supposed I could just fill it up with you and Jesse, or everyone who follows you, or some other cobbled-up statistic that would sound cool, but mean absolutely nothing. Like you though, I long ago, learned not to automatically "follow-back" unless it was somebody who is germane to my purpose. Or is screamingly funny, like "The Fucking Cat." Yes, I have a "Cats Who Tweet" list.

Rhonda Kronyk
Rhonda Kronyk

LOL. I didn't even know about Twitter lists. Turns out I'm on a few of them - including yours:) This Luddite is going to go create some lists now

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