Semantics: Why Twitter Lists Rock

Lots has been said about Twitter Lists, and as they roll out to the entire community, lots more will be said. Robert Scoble is doing some great analysis, as are govies like Sarah Bourne of Mass.Gov. I have two big first impressions:

Lists are a fabulous discovery tool, a data rich and hand-picked crowd tagged with a descriptor by, most likely, one of your valued contacts. Lists from your real contacts, instead of being just another popularity measure, are going to open up their networks in a simple format that cuts right through spam and allows discovery whenever YOU feel like exploring. This benefit of lists was anticipated, and hopefully it will quiet down some of the Follow Friday noise of dataless name-dropping (though now folks can urge following of their lists!). One thing I'm looking forward to is a quick tool to follow individual handles off lists in your regular timeline, in bulk.

The second thing I saw while playing around last night is very important, and it also reduces spam and increases discovery. Lists provide a crowdsourced tagging system for each handle, along with builder-defined common communities. They teach others about you, and you about how you're perceived. It's the crowdsourcing of bios, and finally I can make sense of those who don't fill theirs out. :)

What are you discovering about Lists?

~ Adriel Hampton is a San Francisco public servant and host of Gov 2.0 Radio.

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  • published this page in Blog 2009-10-29 11:54:54 -0400

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