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Using Data

The Listification of the Twitter

By January 6, 2010 9 Comments
To-do list book.
Image by koalazymonkey via Flickr

I don’t know what’s more fascinating about lists on Twitter, their potential or how utterly under-utilized they are at the moment.

Seriously, how many “awesome” lists do we need to make individually before it gets old?

I mean, come on.

Make Useful Lists

I think lists are great because we can now start to classify people in useful ways. For example, I’m part of a team at Humana that made a super sizzlin Twitter Application called myTPSreport.com. It hasn’t received much press because I haven’t found the right people to fall in love with it and talk about it incessantly. My self appointed charge is to find people who would be interested in using the tool for their own personal benefit, while also helping to spread the word about it.

So yesterday I went to Listerous and tried to find a list dedicated to bloggers who talk about Twitter a lot. I found some people here and there, but didn’t hit pay dirt in any kind of conclusive way. So I thought to myself that a lot of books have been written about Twitter, what if I started my search with them and made my own list?

Hot Tip

After coming to this realization, I rolled up my sleeves, cruised over to Amazon and searched for books on Twitter.

Who knew that Amazon could be a source for a useful classification of people to go into a Twitter list? A simple Amazon book search can help filter authors of books about specific topics. Once you have all their names, you can search for them on Twitter and make a list of something you and other people can actually use.

sidenote Who knew that some of the people who wrote books about Twitter don’t have Twitter accounts under their real name? There were more than a few, which was weird to me…

Why You Should Care

Aggregating the authors of books on a particular topic into a list is better than simply following them individually. You can put the organized list into a Twitter client like TweetDeck, and keep tabs on that special group. This will allow you to find individuals in your list that you have things in common with, which should allow you to develop a dialogue and even a rapport, over time. Plus, while you’re making the list you can follow the links people leave in their profile, put all their blog feeds into your reader, and increase your chances of connecting with them.

Aggregating lists of lists together with a user friendly interface, like Twittorati does, adds even more utility to Twitter lists.

Analyze Lists!

Something new and interesting you can do with your new list is analyze the people that make it up. Dan Zarrella released TweetPsych last year and just added the ability to analyze lists against the Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count (LIWC) text analysis tool that I’ve been eyeballing for the past month and change.

Here are the results for my new Books on Twitter List. Pretty interesting, eh?

Stop The Madness

You’re now equipped to seriously curate the Twitter in a meaningful way. What lists will you come up with and why? Let me know in the comments below.