Thursday, December 10, 2015

11. Twitter Lists

Now that you have done Stage 1 of the Bootcamp (congratulations!!!), you can start on Stage 2 of the Twitter Bootcamp, learning about the power of TWITTER LISTS.

But first, go to and log in. Before starting this new activity, take a look at your stream and see if there are any new tweets you want to retweet and/or reply to! Then, when you are ready to proceed, you can start learning about Twitter lists. For me, Twitter lists are the key to making effective use of Twitter, and I hope you will find them useful too!

What is a Twitter list? A Twitter list is just a group of accounts that have been put together in a list. A list has a name, and two URLs: one is the address that shows all the latest tweets (and retweets) from members of the list, and the other URL is a list of the members of the list. When you are looking at a list, you will see the viewing options in the right-hand column: tweets and list members.

For example, here is my list named OU and a link to the OU List tweets and a link to the OU List members. That is a list I keep of OU programs; I also have a separate list of OU faculty and staff.

Public or Private. Lists can be public or private; because I have made my lists are public, you can look at them, but you cannot add or remove members from the list. As the owner of the list, I am the only person who can add or remove members.

Why use Twitter lists? Twitter lists allow you to prioritize the time you spend at Twitter. If you decide on the essential accounts you want to follow, you can put them on a list and make sure that you keep up with that list every day, even if you don't have more time that that to spend at Twitter.

Twitter lists are also great for short-term use, like for a conference, or for a specific project, etc. In fact, you don't even have to follow accounts that you watch on a list (when you look at the roster of members on the list, Twitter will indicate who you are following).

Another nice thing about Twitter lists is that you don't see ads or promoted tweets in a list.

Other people's lists. You can access people's public lists from their profile pages. When you look at someone's profile page (including your own), you can see the public lists they have created, the lists they are subscribed to, and you can also click and see which lists they are members of.

There are three ways you can use other people's lists:
1. You can bookmark the URL to view the tweets on that list whenever you want.
2. You can subscribe to the list, which is like following all the people on the list — but without following them. Very convenient!
3. You can use the list to find people to follow.

Creating your own lists. It's easy to create a list! When you are looking at someone's profile, just click on the gear icon next to the "follow" button, and choose "add or remove from list in the dropdown menu. You will then be prompted to add the account to one of your existing lists or to create a new list. That's all there is to it. (Later on, I'll share a trick about how to add yourself to a list.)

The best way to learn about how lists is to create at least one of your own, public or private, and then compare how that works to the tweets you see on your homepage at Not everybody uses Twitter lists... but the people who do are usually very devoted to this way of using Twitter! So, explore, and see what you think.

NEXT STEP => Then, when you are done, move on to the next activity: creating a Twitter bookmarks folder.

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