I came across an article Robert Scoble wrote yesterday about the new method he’s going to use to organize his Twitter accounts. He’s been getting really excited lately as he figures out how to efficiently use Twitter to access good information that’s important to him. I’m going to write about the importance of media scanning as part of a “metathinking” framework in an upcoming post, so I’ll leave the commentary about what he figured out about Twitter lists for later.
Basically, Scoble decided to create multiple Twitter accounts to organize the different types of information he produces:
The value to this is much deeper than it may appear at first. Twitter is an amazing experimental grounds in figuring out how to leverage the power of the real-time web. Besides being an incredible platform that essentially operates as an “idea exchange”, where we can chew on ideas and news together collectively, it’s an amazing source of information acquisition.
As Scoble figured out in organizing his Lists, by creating different lenses and filters in Twitter, we can control the types of information we want to access. By separating his information into different accounts, he’s giving his readers the opportunity to also get filtered information.
It makes total sense, because not everything @scobleizer says is going to bring you value. If you’re not a personal contact of his, then you’d probably be satisfied with just seeing the original content he produces. Everything else is basically just noise. For instance, I just pulled this one out of his feed:
Obviously, unless you’re that person or know the context of the conversation, that comment means absolutely nothing to you.
Another example that comes to mind is Beth Kanter’s feed. If you’re a nonprofit who cares anything about how to use social media for social change, you should probably be reading her blog. I keep wanting to add @kanter to my “social change strategy” List, but she has so many individual exchanges with people that I have a hard time extracting the value from her stream. For instance, here’s a screenshot of her feed from just now:
There’s just a lot of excess noise that I don’t have the time to deal with. From a business perspective, that could mean the potential loss of a client for her, because they’re not able to filter the stream and see how valuable her knowledge would be for their organization.
So, why create a separate Twitter account?
* It will allow your audience to hone in on the content you create that matters most to them.
* It improves your information search strategies, because you can create Lists that only include original content.
It’s a great way for organizing a better system of thinking.
I hope that every serious blogger follows this lead and creates a separate Twitter account that just pulls the RSS from their blog into Twitter. (use Twitterfeed for this). We’ll all get more value from the network.