Monday, August 4, 2014

Twittery Observations

For the last two days, I've been trying to organize my Twitter feed into lists, a project that's long past due. I have no idea how close to the end I am. However, I've taken in some things about Twitter, and about what works. (I say this as someone who doesn't use Twitter much, so take what I say with a grain of salt.)

First of all, if you don't know what I'm talking about, you can make lists (categories) to put those you're following under. Then you can click on a list and just view the tweets from that category. So, for instance, I have a "bloggers" list. If I want to get rid of the "noise" of Twitter, and just want to see my blogger peeps so I can visit them if they've tweeted a link to a blog post (for example), I can just click on the blogger list I've created and scan down the page, getting rid of all the other tweets sitting there on the feed.

You can make these lists public or private. I've made these all public, so if someone goes to my profile they can click on "lists" and look up Twitter accounts that fit one of the above categories. Want to find publications? You can find them under my lists!

I separated out lists for bloggers, writers/authors, editors/agents, publications, news/links, and promotion. This will probably be modified later, but this is a good start. I'm getting tweets thanking me for adding people to the lists. I had no idea they'd be notified when I put them in the list--I simply wanted to simplify how I approached Twitter so maybe I'd use it a bit more, while making it easier to use. So it's a good thing to be added to a list. See? I learned something!

But there are a bunch of people who won't be going into any of the lists I've created, because there's no explanation under their names as to who they are. And when I'm going through more than 2000 people, I don't have time to click on everyone to check out what they do and what they're tweeting. They get skipped.

There are people who do have something written there, but it's a clever statement, quote, or something along those lines. Several are wonderfully creative or funny. However, if I don't know who this person is, I'm not adding them into a list. I'm not unfollowing them, though, which I am doing with some accounts I'm coming across.

The ones I love are accounts that straight up say that they're a blogger, writer, editor, agent, publication, publicist, musician, comedian, actor, whatever. A bunch lay it out there, whether it's via hashtags or written out. Some particularly well done author bios, as an example, include that they're the author of such and such series, won x award, and blog at such and such blog or website. That's a lot of information, all squished into the limited area allowed for bios, but they did it. There are agents who are also authors, writers who are also book reviewers, so on and so forth.

Thanks to this little project (urg), I'll be reviewing my own bio once I'm finished organizing everything.

To create a list of your own, go to your profile page on Twitter, click on "more," select "lists," then click "create new lists" on the right side. You'll be prompted for a name for the list, an explanation of it, and then you can add names by typing them in or clicking on the spot on your profile page that says "following." This will bring up a list of everyone you follow, and you can click on the sprocket symbol then select "add or remove from lists." Then you can select which group or groups you'd like to add them to.

You can also click on the sprocket icon at the top right of your Twitter profile page, in the toolbar, to access your lists. (Here's a Twitter instruction page for it.)

Do you utilize lists on Twitter? What categories have you separated them into? Do you find it helpful, or was it a waste of time?

May you find your Muse.


  1. I have two lists - one for science fiction stuff and the other for blogger buddies. I need to make more, as some get lost in the shuffle, but that's over 3000 followers to sort.

  2. Interesting idea! I'm not a big Twitter user either, but I do see the advantage of sorting followers into categories. I will have to do that while my list is still small.

  3. Wow, I'm impressed. I will be curious to know how it works for you.

  4. Wow, Twitter's come so far since we last used it. We gave up on it ages ago. Too much mindless blathering into a void of emptiness. Do they have a list for that?

  5. Oh geez, another chore I need to get busy on. I scroll through a lot of noise to find what I'm interested in and the lists would make it simpler.

  6. I should make some lists just so I can bypass the spam of some of the people that tweet ALL the time.

  7. I didn't know that's what the lists were for! I will be using them after this. =)

  8. yes, the twitter lists. i did that once. and now i have a ton of new followers and am not up for doing it again... since i never use them, well i use the local ones because not many of my local friends tweet! (but i do appreciate being put into your iists! i noticed! thanks!)

    and thanks for stopping by my broken branch falls blog tour at C. Lee's!

  9. Wow, I didn't know I could make lists on Twitter. Thanks for sharing the info.

  10. I tried to do lists, but got suuuuuper lazy with it. It's better than nothing, but I know I'm leaving bloggers out, which is super annoying. I've also subscribed to lists of other bloggers, which I found useful. (I'm going to check out your lists now!)

  11. Alex, yeah, just over 2000 was too much. It took me several days.

    Dawn, I'd definitely recommend doing it now! It took forever with this many folks, but each individual I add is just a few seconds extra now to add to the lists I've got.

    Catherine, I'm not going to lie, I haven't even looked at Twitter since I finally got my organizing done. But I think I'm over the trauma now. ;)

    B&B, you can make one. :p

    Susan, that's my hope. Cut through the stuff I don't want to see.

    Andrew, definitely. I've been to workshops on using Twitter, and they always recommend posting constantly. Newsflash, but if you post (tweet, whatever) constantly, I'm not interested.

    Rachel, have you started?

    Tara, we'll see if I keep up with adding people to the lists as I go. If I don't, I don't think I'd sit there and do this all again.

    Susanne, glad to share!

    Gia, I know I missed bloggers, too, because it wasn't in their bios. But when going through all those names, there was just no way I could check people out. If it was in their bio, I put them in the category.