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I keep seeing this article about the importance of twitter lists getting retweeted, and I’m compelled to disagree.

Steven Hodson over at The Inquistr is making an argument that Lists are going to be the new ranking system in social media. He references an article at the Bivings Report about using twitter lists to judge influence, and then goes on to make some pretty bold blanket statements, like:

(a) “It is how you are now going to be able to measure your worth in the world from this day forth.Yes sir you can now measure your value by how many lists you have been lucky enough to find yourself on.”

(b) “Whether or not we get over being left out of other peoples lists doesnโ€™t change the fact that Twitter Lists will become the new ranking system in Social Media. They will be the new measure of worth to a lot of people…..”

My response is that:

(a) no it isn’t.

(b) no it won’t.

My rationale:

Lists are a great TOOL for organizing information that’s important to you, and honing in to a particular topic or category. It makes using Twitter more efficient and effective.

It is NOT “the new ranking system in social media”. Being on a bunch of lists is the same as having a bunch of followers – it’s just another echo chamber. Yes, in some cases it’s helping to separate the wheat from the chaff as far as using the wisdom of crowds to see who matters. But it’s not a guarantee at all that being on lots of lists = being more important.

Being on lists doesn’t indicate a value system, it’s just a number.

The real new ranking system is going to emerge when there’s a way to track and measure your social and human capital. Let me see that graphic, that shows me what you’ve actually done, what value you’ve added, and who you’ve mobilized for success because of your work or influence or feedback. Then I’ll get a little more excited than seeing how many lists you’re on.