I’m a pretty heavy user of Twitter Lists. Twitter Lists are a great way to filter your Twitter stream, especially when you’re following a large number of accounts. And you don’t need to follow the accounts that are in the list, so this is a good way to get past the 2,000 following limit if you’re up against that. You can create your own lists or follow lists that were created by other people. Here are some examples of Twitter lists that I’ve created.
Lists can be public (shared) or you can create private lists that only you can see. I’ve created private lists for close friends & family and a “My Favorites” list containing the twenty or so accounts that I don’t want to miss.
Twitter lists look good on Twitter.com but I usually read them on my iPhone using Tweetbot or on my iPad using Tweetdeck or the fantastic Flipboard app.
This is how Twitter lists look on Tweetdeck. It’s really easy to see several lists at the same time.
This is how a Twitter list looks on Flipboard. To add a Twitter List to Flipboard, tap More… on the upper right, then go to Social > Twitter > Your Lists.
I like using Tweetbot on my iPhone to view Twitter lists because you can quickly switch between lists by tapping in the title bar area. That brings up a list of all of your Twitter lists.
There’s a lot of discussion out there about a recent Nielsen report stating that 60% of new Twitter users stop using the service after one month. 60% is a big number but I find it interesting that the number has actually improved recently. From the report:
Currently, more than 60 percent of Twitter users fail to return the following month, or in other words, Twitter’s audience retention rate, or the percentage of a given month’s users who come back the following month, is currently about 40 percent. For most of the past 12 months, pre-Oprah, Twitter has languished below 30 percent retention.
First of all, I don’t think that a single event like Oprah joining Twitter should be singled out as the reason for a 10% improvement (30% to 40%) in user retention. I actually think that the improvement is due to the much criticized suggested users list that Twitter introduced several months ago. Before the suggested users list was introduced, new users started with a blank slate – Following 0 and 0 Followers. Twitter has always provided a way for people to locate friends by email address (similar to Facebook) but for the non-tech crowd, this might only result in a few matches and there is no guarantee that those people are active on Twitter. And while there are some pretty good third-party Twitter directories out there, most new users don’t have a clue where to find those. As a result, many new Twitter users log on to their account and see just a few updates a day from a handful of people. When they compare this to other social networking sites like Facebook, this makes Twitter look useless and they stop using it. Twitter’s suggested users list certainly isn’t perfect, but at least it gives new users some content to look at versus a blank page.
When I tweet a link, it usually only gets about 20-25 clicks but, in this case, the clicks went through the roof according to Bit.ly. As soon as Robert liked that tweet, the link that I posted got over 900 clicks in about 6 minutes.
A few thoughts on this:
A simple Like or Retweet from an A-Lister like Robert can drive significant traffic. This is hard proof that, with the right exposure, traffic from Twitter can achieve something similar to the Digg Effect.
The Twitter Effect can be very short lived. In this case, my tweet didn’t get many other retweets, so the number of clicks quickly went down after about 10 minutes.
Earlier today, a second CNN anchor – @donlemoncnn – opened an account on Twitter. In the half-hour that I was watching, there were several mentions of Don’s Twitter ID and they even showed the Twitter URL on the screen and zoomed in on his Twitter page. I think this is tremendous mainstream exposure for Twitter and a very creative use of Twitter by a major news organization. The other CNN anchor on Twitter is Rick Sanchez.
Take a look at this and guess which company they’re talking about…
When service was restored this evening, the [COMPANY X] chat room was flooded with comments from customers, many of whom said they were growing tired of repeated glitches.
Although the disruption today was by far the worst in the company’s short history, it has had a series of smaller glitches in the last year.
”There really is no excuse for so many problems other than poor management,” remarked one [COMPANY X] customer.
Other comments included ”[COMPANY X] needs to get its act together,” …
A few customers said they had switched to the … site run by [COMPANY Y], one of a number of companies that have begun an [xxxxx] business to capture a piece of the enormous on-line [yyyyy] that was pioneered by [COMPANY X]. But others said they would stick with [COMPANY X].
While I can understand all of these negative feelings about Twitter, I just think we need to remember that just about every popular web service has gone through this phase at some point in their history. eBay, Amazon, AOL – the list goes on. And all of those companies worked through those difficult periods and went on to become models of stability. Most people who were around during Web 1.0 will tell you that these companies did not solve these problems overnight. It took months and the progress was often two steps forward, three steps back.
Oh, and remember – this is a free service! Let’s give the Twitter crew a break and save our complaining for when this is something that we’re paying for.
In this sea of negativity towards Twitter, it’s nice to see this type of support from Chris Wetherell (Google). I spotted this comment from Chris on FriendFeed…
Rough week for Twitter. I’ve watched dozens of new, popular, and free web services experience scaling difficulties. I’m always saddened by knee-jerk responses of technologists who blithely assert “I guess they don’t test their software” during outages. Testing is only a part of prevention and is always a moving target. Diagnosis and response can sometimes take hours/days/weeks/months depending on the problem or the system. Money or funding doesn’t automatically translate into an ideal production, staging, and analytic environment overnight (especially if growing by millions) and NO service or platform is immune. None! Not One. Happens within Google all the time. (You might not know that the Reader team has been sleepless this week in attempts to keep the service running.) I figure those of us who can help out with coding or sysadmin work to services we love probably should offer our efforts pro bono. Might not be able to help – but might as well offer. That is, if we care about them…
About a half hour ago I saw this on Twitter from @misc:
tracking “thankful.” call me a hopeless sap but there’s something heartwarming about all that gratitude & happiness streaming in.
I decided to do the same. Here’s a snapshot of what people on Twitter are feeling thankful for. Happy Thanksgiving everyone.
me: track thankful
twitter: You’ll now receive updates matching ‘thankful’. To stop, send ‘untrack thankful’.
(andreamercado): Thankful for friends, life, and staying in a hotel for 2 nights.
(inateapot): happy thanksgiving, all. so much to be thankful for!
(davidj): Happy Turkey Day! Love your families and count your blessings. Today is a day to remember all that you have to be thankful for.
(anitamartini): Thankful that someone else is nice enough to cook for us today.
(lejonprime): I am thankful, for family and friends, a job and home, an imagination and places to use it. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
(iamcrissy): Thankful for life, health, and the love that surrounds me!
(jennyhow): What are you thankful for today?
(iamcrissy): Thankful for Jesus Christ saving me from further self destruction and making me brand new! Love you Lord!
Sent at 9:19 AM on Thursday
twitter: (mysterymika101): am thankful canine Ruby made it back home after sniff through the neighborhood now she insists2b carried up/down 3 flights her paw z hurt
(misc): thankful that i can think of so much to be thankful for that if i posted it all i’d probably lose half my followers [wink]
(Yxes): Happy T-day to my US tweets! G’day to all the rest of youz! I’m thankful for you ALL. xoxo
(roswellsgirl): Every day, everywhere should be a day to be thankful. Happy Thanksgiving wherever you are….[smile]
(sandysage): Happy Thanksgiving to all! I have so much to be thankful for and you all top the list!
(itsbriiibaby): Happy thanksgiving everyone in the us and i suppose everyone else too…it’s always good to be thankful. updates on everything later [heart]
(mysterymika101): that dog weighs about 25lbs it is good exercise for me- I am thankful for poor Ruby the diva allergy bladder stoned dog
(wordwill): Thankful: Coffee and Pie. (More as I am thankful.)
(RAYNBOOOsocks): So I can do this from my e-mail? Awesome!
I have sooo much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving!
God is sooo awesome!
(joepemberton): Thankful for yum yum.
Sent at 9:25 AM on Thursday
twitter: (ElectricSoul): Happy Thanksgiving everybody. What are you thankful for?
Sent at 9:26 AM on Thursday
twitter: (AaronMarshall): Thankful that some pilgrims and some indians managed to get along.
(Mokey): Rob, my fish, cat, dog, home, brother, parents, family, friends, VidMos, NaNo, job, books, music, theatre…What are you guys thankful for?
Sent at 9:27 AM on Thursday
twitter: (mysterymika101): thankful to see my children growin up/ told my sons to keep living when I have passed like Kanye West said his mom wouldn’t want him cancel
(flyingg): I’m thankful i know good people like each of you. Happy Thanksgiving!
(CindyNG): Surfing the web on Thanksgiving – thankful for the web!
(gparmer): Headed to n-laws for turkey. I certainly have lots to be thankful for. Happy Thanksgiving all!
(richhand): Happy Thanksgiving to all. Baking smells filling the house. Thankful for love, life and laughing.
(misc): thankful for my computer. even though i talk a lot of shit about me, it does so much for me, and has seen me through thick and thin. [smile]
(CoachBart): I am thankful to have befriended and bonded with two very special people in my life who I love unconditionally, Jared and Crissy.
(darrylw4): An FTF! Something else to be thankful of today.
(sillygoat76): I’m thankful for a healthy family, a good job, my tractor and a reasonably sane (most of the time) life.
(CindyNG): Ready to go visit my brother’s family to day! Thankful for him and them!
(GrammarGirl): Thinking thankful thoughts for my friends (online and offline), family, health, and luck.
(arstechnica): [Front Page] Six things to be thankful for in technology, 2007 – http://tinyurl.com/ypvod7
(davidbadash): Is thankful 4 friends who wake him up too early to go to the gym
Sent at 9:31 AM on Thursday
twitter: (absolutwade): America is taking the day off to be thankful. See? we still have a soul.
Sent at 9:33 AM on Thursday
twitter: (billiejeane): How I do live some turky and butterscotch cookies. I am thankful for my family. A group of people who’s love stays consistant. My Love’s.
(ericatgimptv): Happy Thanksgiving everyone, very thankful for my family, friends and my new fiance!
(clevelandrachel): I’m thankful for my soar muscles after the 5 mile turkey trot!
(rjbudke): Things I’m Thankful For: Hi Def TV
(MYN): Just a quick Happy Thanksgiving and Aloha to everybody before I head down to the beach!! I’m thankful for all you twitteratti.
Sent at 9:36 AM on Thursday
twitter: (Suki_MHC05): @newmediajim Enjoy & Happy Thanksgiving. My mum said 2 tell u she is thankful there are people such as u bringing us the news on holidays.
Sent at 9:37 AM on Thursday
twitter: (flotsamjeffsam): Twins Fans Wait to See What They Should be Thankful For http://tinyurl.com/2fpcql
(LeStew): ahhhhh…too much stuff to be thankful about!!
(techpickles): thankful for friends, family, and all things computer and interblarg related
(FANLESS): At this moment, I am thankful for Anberlin!
Sent at 9:42 AM on Thursday
twitter: (Natalto): Awww!! I’m so thankful for you too baby! I love you!!
Sent at 9:43 AM on Thursday
twitter: (marianas): I’m thankful for: family, friends, books, TV, NaNo, VidMos, my dog Sam, the internet, my home, food, & so much more
Sent at 9:46 AM on Thursday
twitter: (Flap): is THANKFUL. (from Facebook status)
(itsparis): happy thanksgiving everyone! i’m thankful for all of you and all of this!
(engrish): Podcastjunky_uk: In addition I who appreciate am not turkey today: -): podcastjunky_uk: Also thankful I’m.. http://tinyurl.com/3devog
(Tojosan): @hotdogsladies what an image. [smile]
(savvysuzy): Let me know what you’re “Thankful” for: http://tinyurl.com/2zcza9
JasonCalacanis: what are you thankful for online?
(grobertson): I’m thankful for too much to list. Cheers and happy to all my friends!
(pfunder): I’m thankful for huge zip lock bags for brining 25 lbs turkeys.
(alexknowshtml): laundry put away (something to be thankful for, for sure), almost ready to head back to mom’s for food and family-time.
(PMSHarlequin): Happy Day of gluttony, football, family and friends! I’m thankful for meeting great people like you! Happy Thanksgiving!
twitter: (puppybraille): Feeling thankful that my BP and heart rate are normal, and the patch seems like it is worth continuing to persue.
(planetsab): @JasonCalacanis thankful for The Gang [nose wink]
(Oiche_Shamhna): Thankful for The big chair from Jeff and High def Go Green Bay
(Dayngr): @JasonCalacanis I’m thankful for old friends and new and those who go out of their way to help others through their online experience!
(NathanaelG): I’m thankful for the awesome cold weather, vidmos, NANO!!! EVEYTHING!!!
(misc): thankful for rock and roll!
(schulz): I’m thankful my girls are both healthy
(PodcastJunky): @Barely I’m thankful for a husband who is not into football. He’s watching “Cars” with the kids.
(schulz): I’m thankful for kimberly
(tkdblackbelt): Food with gravy and pie…how could I not be thankful!
(CathyBrooks): [seesmic] What does it mean to be thankful? – http://tinyurl.com/2eohnl
(cortland): From my blog: Thanksgiving 2007: I have a ton of things to be thankful for this year – Kris.. http://tinyurl.com/3cmpgn
(hellyes0): I’m thankful for having woken up so late. And the fact that I finally might feel better if just rest today.
(jennimi): Alice and the rest of the boys on the Group W Bench are thankful for life.
(jennimi): Alice and the rest of the boys on the Group W Bench are thankful for life.
(mjyazzie): Thankful for Pierre Herme white truffle macarons in Paris. Yum!
(mager): Doing laundry, and pretending to clean my room. Thankful for independence.
(susanreynolds): Brunch done, football watching continueth. I’ll be thankful if we can keep micro-management man out of the kitchen for just an hour or two..
(chris2x): Five Things I am Thankful For http://tinyurl.com/365j8s
(nzle): I am thankful for my new gold lame leggings and silver lame track jacket, as well as my black sequined miniskirt and white eyelet minidress.
(etesla): Thankful for stamina, sweeties, imrpoved health, an end in sight, new beginnings, future adventures, and never being bored.
(jeremyvaught): New blog post: Happy Thanksgiving, a few people I’m thankful for http://tinyurl.com/yov9fl
Sent at 9:58 AM on Thursday
twitter: (GaryLaPointe): HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!: Drive Safe! Eat Lots! And don’t forget to Be Thankful! I know like can get cr.. http://tinyurl.com/3d7374
(jasonvo): Happy Thanksgiving to all in the U.S.! I’m thankful for friends and am amazed at how many great friends I have made through social media.
(cedorsett): Deus ex Machina is #6 and Night Terror is #7 bestselling Scifi Shorts at Amazon, I am so thankful, Black Moon Rising not listed yet
(rikomatic): BLOG: Muchisimas graçias, salamat, merci buckets — Feeling Thankful http://tinyurl.com/24jtmp
(JesseStay): Today I am thankful for time to spend with my family
(misc): thankful twitter is working today, more or less! [wink]
(DouglasSarine): I am thankful for food…and each of you. Seriously good stuff…you guys too.
Sent at 10:04 AM on Thursday
twitter: bpm140: Thankful for my wonderful wife, beautiful children, fantastic friends and all the great opportuities I’m lucky to have. Happy Thanksgiving!
twitter: (wasabineko): Venture Bros. Season 3 not premiering until June ;~; Well played, announcing on the “just be thankful” day. Well played indeed.
(noebie): being thankful for 28) faith, and those who have kept it
Sent at 10:07 AM on Thursday
twitter: (tychay): I have a lot to be thankful for; I hope you do to. Thank you!
(bryc3): thankful for all the hard work of @tempo, @monstro, @jah, @merci, @suttree and all other non-twitter portfolio peeps!
(schulz): I’m thankful for Kyra and Zoe
twitter: (jasonhe): Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Right now, I’m thankful for having the opportunity to sleep 12 hours last night.
(essl): I’m thankful for prescription pain killers and Back To The Future.
(rjbudke): Things I’m Thankful For: The greatest dog in the world
(alexknowshtml): hey internet friends, i’m thankful for all of you! http://www.flickr.com/photos/dangerouslyawesome/2054741661/
(joshbandyface): Im thankful for all of you guys. Happy thanksgiving!
Sent at 10:13 AM on Thursday
twitter: (flawedartist): Happy thankgiving everyone! If there’s one thing I’m really thankful for, it’s for the beautiful friends I have (that means you Vince)
(ChristianDeVera): 5.6 earthquake wasn’t a big deal. i didnt even feel it, maybe coz i was watching Spiderman 3
(DYbarra): just had an earthquake here — my 1st. i didn’t really feel it but saw some items in my house swaying. hope the big one doesn’t hit tonight.
(GlennF): I don’t follow enough people on Twitter to have figured out there was a quake until 9.54 pm
(patrickf23): earthquake! i was in an elevator! whew!
(jay_ramos): mmmmm…. earthquake….
(flips): Didn’t feel the earthquake, although my roommate did
(fernfern): was holding a bunch of cilantro when earthquake started…the cilantro felt it too…not me alone…dizzy a bit…
(amyjokim): reading about the Bay Area quake, sending happy thoughts to our many Bay Area friends
(artisan949): @jaydedman congrats on the earth quake survival man. did you duck and cover?
(CreativeSage): Glad we weren’t carving pumpkins when the earthquake hit—shaky sharp knives and lots of pulp spewing all over the place![nose wink]
(mmayo): Didn’t feel the earthquake at all. Weird.
Sent at 9:58 PM on Tuesday
twitter: (hirodusk): 5.8 earthquake, and one of the people in my office asks “Is that a train passing by?”
(abie): quake was totally mild and unscary up on the hill here
(noor): i totally didn’t feel the earthquake – maybe because I was at the gym?
(zittrain): My first earthquake! http://tinyurl.com/3xl665
(rangercraig): So, you missed your first earthquake… @NickStarr
Sent at 10:01 PM on Tuesday
twitter: (NaokiHIYAMA): Earthquake Shaked me. size was M5.6.not so strong,no tunami,no damage.but TV changed programe and broadcasting breakingnews…..
(rangercraig): @NickStarr So, you missed your first earthquake…
(deebeedee): @clickmomukhamo Hehe, that’s what Twitter’s for! (but I don’t know what I’d do if the quake was any stronger)
(Jenguin): Trying to finish making cupcakes… since the first batch was damaged because of the earthquake!
(nicolelee): Disturbed that @sfquake reported the quake more than an hour after it happened! I’m un-following you, buddy.
(s4xton): Holy crap, this photo makes the earthquake look devastating: http://tinyurl.com/2wa2j8 (cnn.com via raleigh-i.com)
(dialect): “I was eating oysters, and when the oysters started moving, I knew something was wrong.” — Man on the street interview about the earthquake
(gwachob): #earthquake on calaveras fault line
(gwachob): #earthquake on calaveras fault line – hayward is the one we have to worry about
(CraigFaulk): Nice little quake here in the bay area 5.6 magnitude around 8:04pm – Epicenter Alum Rock (Near San Jose)
(mim): Earthquake earlier felt like vibrating bed
(dannysullivan): and how did i not feel that quake here at SFO? weird (and sad, i missed a quake!)
(dsearls): Hard for a geology freak like me not to write aboiut the quake: http://tinyurl.com/yo3m5z
(kitchen): ok, so there’s a 5.6 earthquake in SF area, right. kcal9 thinks some stupid cheerleader getting runover by a football team is better news.
(Ryanne): 5.4 quake, first one that we felt since moving here…shouldn’t say it, but man it was cool!
(scottpargett): Another earthquake just hit. Always a sharp reminder of where I live.
(edithfrost): There was an earthquake? I didn’t feel anything here in Albany…
(booboolina): @jimhutchison: I’m ok, sounds like everyone else is ok too. it was just a rockin’ and a rollin’ quake. http://tinyurl.com/234t3w thanks!
(jbergen): I wait for an earthquake for four years and as soon as I leave, one happens. Where’s the justice?
(brianleroux): @andrecharland two words for ya: iphone sdk
(CoyotePace): @Chrysocolla — Sal felt the quake too, over in Fremont.
(joshleejosh): my first bay area earthquake, and I didn’t even feel it. I need to pay better attention.
loiclemeur: Seesmic day 21 is up Seesmic day 21: Where is Loic?
(cariberry): 5.6 earthquake in San Jose
(GGJeffy): 5.6 quake…bruised my hand and jammed shoulder bracing in doorway from house moving to and fro.
(kesava): ppl, plz hold ur earthquake tweets till I come back from dinner. [grin]
(stony): @AndreCharland I never realized crack heads were so quick.
(danakin): Hoping that the CA folks are alright and aren’t affected by the earthquake
(beach): shoulda hit twitter sooner about the quake… duh. felt much smaller than a 5.6 here in santa cruz… yawn.
(Ryanne): tracking the quake on twitter http://tinyurl.com/2xv5el
(mailien): Still a little queezy from the earthquake…
Sent at 10:12 PM on Tuesday
twitter: (stevenf): Can we all agree not refer to the earthquake as a “temblor”
(BigReg): Phil Eugenio is right on the money it was a 5.7 quake. http://tinyurl.com/yodn57
(markdotto): Holy crap! I was sleeping, but woke up to feel that earthquake, but feel back to sleep. My mom emailed me to see if I was OK. E-mail? Thx Ma
Sent at 10:14 PM on Tuesday
twitter: (kurrik): EARTHQUAKE STATUS UPDATE – BBQ Sauce, Relish untouched, Tabasco Chipotle and Mayonnaise DOWN! OH, THE HUMANITY
(stevenf): Can we all agree not to refer to the earthquake as a “temblor”
Sent at 10:16 PM on Tuesday
twitter: (ses5909): so I get my news from twitter that there was an earthquake. I was sleeping though, I have an excuse
(sneakeryip): Someone just whispered to me that there was a quake but where was the shakes?
(yndygo): Sending good thoughts to all my earthquake suffering friends in the bay area, may the damage be minimal if any… 5.6? Good one you guys!!
Sent at 10:18 PM on Tuesday
twitter: (dalmaer): sitting through his first earthquake without apparantely noticing it.
(dingostewart): Called my daughter Erin in the Bay Area. She said she didn’t even feel the quake. I hope all my friends are fine–and happy it wasn’t l …
Sent at 10:19 PM on Tuesday
twitter: (dingostewart): I’m happy the quake in the Bay Area wasn’t like the Loma Linda quake of 1989! Was there, & didn’t like it one bit!