I just got my invitation for twitter lists this morning, and got really excited to explore how to use them effectively. I started to put together some lists that I thought would be useful, (Big Thinkers, Emerging Media Trends), and then discovered Listorious, an aggregator of all the best twitter lists. Even better. I did notice that the top lists have a bunch of people in common, so ‘lists’ have essentially been a way to separate the wheat from the chaff, and see who the crowds have decided are the most important people saying things that matter.
I decided to make a “meta-list“, combining all the top people from all the top lists that mattered to be. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize that there is a 500 person limit for the lists, so I’ll have to go back in and pull some people and add others… it’ll be a work in progress. But, it’s a combination of people from the Newmedia, Thought Leaders, Tech Pundits, Most Influential in Tech, MediaWonks, and Social Media Must Follow, among many others, I’m sure.
I think it’ll be interesting to see how the information that’s been filtered can be used, analyzed, and remixed to make ever better collections of “quality content” and “experts”, and leverage these combinations to spot emerging trends or see the big picture in a new way.
I saw someone tweet that Lists is like an RSS feed aggregator. The difference is, Lists isn’t just a blast of one-way information – there’s conversation going on, and you can dip in whenever you like.
How can Lists be set up strategically? Can they be viewed as user-generated forums? Now you have the ability to put many (seemingly?) unrelated people in the same “room”…. this could be a powerful thing if everyone in the room agrees to cooperate/collaborate. Could we start assembling really smart people, the movers and shakers, into these loose, non-hierarchical spaces, in order to have a huge, focused collective discussion? Could we focus in on a topic or a problem to tackle? Have a conversation intended for a set starting point and duration, and then move on?
A lot of twitter can be an echo chamber, but now instead of using hashtags, we can hyperfocus into forums (“lists”). Could this work?