Like most people, I've been wishing for lists for as long as twitter has been around.
And now that the feature is available, I love it.
But what I didn't think about is the impact that public lists would have on Twitter.
The problem with lists:
These things became obvious to me as I started to create my own public list called Affiliorati. The idea was not to make a list of everybody in affiliate marketing (there are several of those), but to make a list of those who write or talk about the affiliate marketing industry itself, either on twitter, blogs, podcasts, conferences panels, etc.
I realize that it probably sounds elitist, but that's not my intention. I like to pay attention to the people who think about the industry itself and through words and action have a direct impact on it.
As I started building that list I realized that I cannot possibly create the perfect list that includes everyone it should. With all my best efforts it is a certainty that people will be left off.
Last week, while I was building this list and examining many affiliate lists, I noticed that I was on some of them and not on others. Tongue firmly in cheek, I posted the following.
This resulted in some funny replies, mostly people who came to my defense, and one who told me to get a life. ( there was no @jangro, but I'm guessing that was at least partially directed at me.)
I do expect that there are probably some real hurt feelings over list exclusions out there.
Not that my Affiliorati list is all that and a bag of chips, but if you feel like I left someone off, please let me know.
I've been seeing the word "curator" a lot in the past week as people get excited about lists, which is an interesting term used mostly in regards to art or museum collections. If you've got people following a list that you're in charge of, they're putting some faith in you that you'll provide the care and feeding.
How do we know that a list is good? I know first-hand that my own "curated list" is only the result of my efforts to find good twitter users for about 30 minutes. I haven't done anything since then.
By virtue of who I am, what I've called the list, and who is on it so far, someone might have the expectation that it is better than it really is. I do hope to make it a great list but without good tools for finding new list members, and removing some misfits, I don't have much hope.
I bet that 99% of lists out there were built quickly and will remain static.
I see the need for tools that will cross-reference many lists on a subject to ensure quality. Curation tools, if you will. TLISTS sounds like it might be such a tool when it is available.