Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Twitter lists: How I use them

For some people, Twitter lists offers ways to narrow fields of many into few favorites. I use lists to categorize--not to point out my favorites.

CooperativeExtensionList_001Because there are many in our organization who are very new (and newcomers are coming everyday) to Twitter and other social media, I wanted to use lists to easily recommend people to follow. My method is not the most efficient method, but it is way for me to have a bank of accounts that I can refer others to. It is a way for me to personally match colleagues in interests, positions, etc.  I feel that I have a role in connecting people with similar interests because it is difficult for newcomers to know where to start to look. Newcomers will quickly see benefits when they immediately belong to a community that matches their interests, passions, and goals.

Cooperative Extension professionals find colleagues in my Cooperative Extension list. My lists come in handy when I am trying find people who specialize in a narrow field.  

Using my Cooperative Extension list, I created a Tweetdeck coCoopExtensionListlumn. When I need to look at what my Cooperative Extension colleagues have said during the day, I look at this column. Using third party applications, like Tweetdeck and Hootsuite, give me efficient ways to prioritize and focus .

Please note: Cooperative Extension professionals using social media should register their accounts here http://www.extension.org/people/colleagues/socialnetworks so we can efficiently find colleagues with similar interests and responsibilities.

The majority of the people who I follow do not work for universities or for Cooperative Extension. I learn the most from people unlike me. I follow people who work in public relations, marketing, military, agriculture, education, and government. I follow people who own their own businesses, manage and own farms, attend high school and college, live close by or in Alabama, and are my friends. The variety of people I follow gives me a rich online learning experience. However, keeping up and staying focus are my challenges. Lists helps me focus on certain areas when I need to.

Also, lists give me a way to include a few people who I don’t follow. 

I recognize that my criteTweetdecklistsria for which I build lists is not scalable. But, it works for me now. When I find a better way, I will change.

How To Use Twitter Lists is a good resource for getting started using Twitter lists.

I easily add new people I follow to a list either on Twitter.com (using the instructions in the link above)or in Tweetdeck.

I also create Tweetdeck columns to follow particular search terms (not using the lists). Most of the time the terms are temporary, like when I follow a hashtag associated with a conference. 

The constant noise is social media spaces can be frustrating and create time vacuums. With services like Formulists, I hope to integrate filters for location, search terms, and lists. 

NOTE: I happen to use Tweetdeck, but other applications, like HootSuite can do the same thing.


Anonymous said...

I like the post Anne! I think Twitter lists aren't well understood by a lot of folks and they have the potential to maximize the effectiveness of time spent on a service like Twitter. For me, I also love it when events have lists and have gone so far as to create them for some events. The opportunity to see who's coming or once the event is underway, who else I may connect with in person is amazing! I have both public (ag women, ag bloggers, some events, etc) and private lists too.

Unknown said...

Janice, What a great idea.

A Twitter list of who is coming to an event.

I am helping lead social media around Family Resilience Conference, a combined Dept of Defense and land-grant universities conference. We want people to mix and mingle across these organizations.

We will incorporate your idea.

Thanks much.