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By Martin Belam


Abstract:

If you are running a social media presence, or using social media as research tools, then there a couple of things worth noting in Hunter Walk's blog about how we tend to inevitably add more noise to our social media than we need to. Particularly pertinent is the idea that following back anybody who follows you on Twitter is the "polite" and correct thing to do. It seems rude not to. But as humans ourselves there is a limit to the number of information sources we can manage.


Item:

If you are running a social media presence, or using social media as research tools, then there a couple of things worth noting in Hunter Walk's blog about how we tend to inevitably add more noise to our social media than we need to.

Particularly pertinent is the idea that following back anybody who follows you on Twitter is the "polite" and correct thing to do. It seems rude not to. But as humans ourselves there is a limit to the number of information sources we can manage. One potential solution is to use lists to make a subset of accounts that you find useful for sourcing information to retweet, rather than reading the whole barrage.

There have been some complaints that the recent Twitter redesign makes managing lists harder. There are some third party apps to help though and Twitlistmanager looks to be an interesting attempt to solve the problem, although the developer himself admits "on some occasions, the Twitter API does not seem to return all list members properly. So if you're seeing list members that no longer belong to a list, don't worry. All is probably still okay!" 

Back in November Ray Beckerman made a list of tools that might help you manage your lists, and some of them may be a bit more robust. There is also an open question on Quora "What is the best application/service for managing Twitter lists?".

One of the favourites mentioned there appears to be Formulists. It analyses your existing followers and tries to automatically generate lists of users that you, for example, mention the most, or who mention you the most. One of the lists generated – "Top fans of the month" – is useful for discovery people who may be influential in spreading your tweets via retweets, who you yourself do not follow or are not aware of. A very handy feature is a wizard to help you put together lists that start by asking you "What is your goal on Twitter?". Based on that choice it presents you with different options.

If you are interested in following me on Twitter, you can find me as @currybet – and I've also made a public list of some of the sources that I find useful on Twitter when thinking about what to cover on FUMSI.


 

About this item:



Martin Belam is Information Architect for guardian.co.uk. Before joining The Guardian, he worked as an Internet Consultant with organisations like the BBC, Sony, Vodafone and the Science Museum.

Martin also blogs about information architecture and the media at currybet.net and can be found on Twitter as @currybet.

Martin can be reached at martin.belam@freepint.com

More articles by Martin Belam »


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