Thursday, October 17, 2013

What Works for Me on Twitter: Lists

Does your Twitter timeline tend to overwhelm you from time to time?  Is someone posting random tweets that keep you from accessing the useful information you joined Twitter for?  Do you have a group of people that post tweets regarding a similar topic most of the time?  If any, some, or all of the above situations apply to you it's time to begin setting up some Twitter lists.

Many users aren't aware of this, but you are a mere few clicks away from way more control over what you see and when on Twitter.  Simply click on your settings wheel in the upper right hand corner of your Twitter home page and you're on your way to a less complicated and more valuable experience with Twitter.


The main Twitter list "pane" looks like this.



Click on the "Create list" button to get started.  Here are the options to choose from:


Give the list a name.  Add a description if it will help you or your audience know what information and/or who is included in the list.  Also be aware that the list you create can be private only to you or be shared with others.  Pro Tip: Explore the public lists of the people you enjoy following most to find other Twitter members you may like to follow as well.

If you ever want to go back to a list, rename it, edit the description, or make a private list public or vice versa, simply go to the list and click on the "Edit" button here:

 
Also, clicking the "Member of" button here,


will allow you to see which public lists other Twitter users have placed you on.  See who may be stalking you because you're awesome!

As seen in the images, I have two lists associated with the Twitter account I use professionally.  One list, titled "IT Team" is there to make sure that I don't miss any tweets the colleagues on my team posts.  I follow them in the traditional way, but if I'm not on my timeline at the right time I could miss an important tweet of theirs and I don't want that to happen.  The other list I created is simply titled "List."  I have reserved this list for a few people that I really want to follow, but they just post too much during the day.  This way I can still see their tweets, but now I see their tweets when I want to see them instead of when they post them.

There are many reasons to create a list on Twitter.  I was speaking from experience in my examples earlier.  Your reasons may be different than mine, but one thing we can agree on is that having a little more control over when you see particular tweets from particular people is a positive thing.

So this should hopefully get you started with lists.  Enjoy the new control you have over your timeline and let your more personal Twitter experience work better for you.

(For further information about the creation and use of lists on Twitter the great people at Edudemic have you covered.  Click here for a post about how to create Twitter lists and click here for some perspective on how to manage information from your PLN via Twitter lists.)

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