More Fun with Twitter Lists

November 4th, 2009 13 Comments

Twitter and reputationRight, wrong or indifferent, we all use the following and followers metrics to make quick judgements about a person’s reputation, and now, Twitter has provided another dimension, the listed metric.

This added dimension provides a much needed, albeit flawed, way to determine a user’s mojo. I use mojo here loosely to represent a user’s authority, something Twitter lacked in the past.

The number of followers or the ratio of following to followers were the only ways to get an idea of a person’s authority before, and these numbers could easily have been functions of popularity (ahem, celebrity), laziness or strict following rules (e.g. only following people met IRL), rather than authority or real reputation.

Listed allows you to size up how other Twitter users feel about a specific user, which adds some semblance of authority, i.e. being listed by lots of other users might be more meaningful than having lots of followers.

I’m using mojo here because the listed metric is still flawed for measuring authority. I suspect that lists will follow the same curve Twitter itself did; early adopters will use lists for reputation and authority, and everyone else will use them for other purposes, completely borking any reputation calculations.

Not that it matters, but I’m interested to see the evolution of the listed metric. Twitter’s inclusion of it on the user profile tells me it has some purpose related to reputation.

Friends of AppsLabAnyway, now that lists are available to everyone, I figured I should show some love to you guys and add to your listed metric.

I created a “friend of appslab” list, including all people we’ve met over the years at conferences, here on the blog, at work, etc. It’s not complete by any means, and I’ll be adding to it.

I also added a nifty little widget to show tweets from the list right here (look to the right). The list widget is another new Twitter feature to support lists. For some odd reason, it’s not streaming any tweets behind our firewall. Not sure why, investigating.

Anyway, what do you think of lists? Does the listed metric help you apply reputation? Think it’s a fair way to do that?

Like the widget?

Find the comments.


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13 Responses to “More Fun with Twitter Lists”

  1. John E. Bredehoft (Empoprises) Says:

    One thing about lists – and, for that matter, followers – is that it focuses on people rather than topics. This could lead to issues.

    The aforementioned Friends of AppsLab list presumably includes people whose interests are somewhat aligned with the AppsLab. Because of the diverse interests of the AppsLab – and because it is, after all, a lab – you would expect some level of leeway if you viewed the tweets created by the friends of the AppsLab.

    For example, the fact that one of the AppsLab friends drank a banana split shake is, in a peculiar way, relevant. Oracle is, after all, an enterprise, and services such as FourSquare (the cited tweet was generated by FourSquare) suggest ways in which enterprises can engage their customers. This topic clearly falls within the realm of AppsLab interests.

    But I challenge anyone who follows the “friends of AppsLab” tweets to find the relevance in this tweet (“it must take forever to film a hallmark channel movie. filming must stop for firefighters' day, millard fillmore's birthday…”). I feel sorry for the enterprise student who runs across that particular tweet in the AppsLab feed; the poor soul will end up invoking the former acronym for the Wisconsin Tourism Federation.

    And the AppsLab list is a special case, because of its exploratory nature. What if someone were to set up a narrower list, such as “people interested in Oracle Database”? For that list, even a discussion of WebLogic may be considered off-topic.

    While I know that social media is supposed to be all about people, in reality social media is also about topics that interest the people. For enterprises and enterprise workers to truly mine the information that is out there, we need better ways to do it. Following a person or a list of persons, while appropriate in a generic social media context, may not be appropriate in an enterprise social media context.

    Unfortunately, our search tools aren't smart enough to do this at this time. I cannot think of a way to search Twitter for “AppsLab-y” tweets. When will our search tools become intelligent enough to distinguish “I just ate a mango” from “I just told FourSquare that I drank a mango shake at a local business”?

  2. Jake Says:

    Does this mean you want off the list b/c no one leaves the list. You understand that right.

    :)

    I don't think of lists as topical. Anyone who uses Twitter for five minutes knows topics vary wildly from one second to the next. Even if people try to group by topic, they're bound to be disappointed at times.

    The point of the list is to showcase the people who loosely belong to the community around this team and/or blog.

    I've actually warmed to hashtags for creating topics; they're frictionless and powerful. The #oow09 hashtag had tons of good content, but even then, some off-topic stuff.

    I generally disagree that focus on people creates problems, since people do work. Sample any work environment, and you'll see tons of off-topic content. We need ways to filter out content, e.g. hashtags, search, etc.

  3. joel garry Says:

    You know how much data mining is available in twitter when the short links (-aZitZ) are more interesting as non sequiturs than the actual tweets.

  4. Jake Says:

    And yet you still know this so somehow you've got the stink of Twitter on you :) It's not so bad. You'll see.

    Insert Body Snatchers music here.

  5. John E. Bredehoft (Empoprises) Says:

    Jake, you can then convince Joel to “check in” to places… :)

  6. Jake Says:

    Everyone will be assimilated.

  7. John E. Bredehoft (Empoprises) Says:

    One thing about lists – and, for that matter, followers – is that it focuses on people rather than topics. This could lead to issues.

    The aforementioned Friends of AppsLab list presumably includes people whose interests are somewhat aligned with the AppsLab. Because of the diverse interests of the AppsLab – and because it is, after all, a lab – you would expect some level of leeway if you viewed the tweets created by the friends of the AppsLab.

    For example, the fact that one of the AppsLab friends drank a banana split shake is, in a peculiar way, relevant. Oracle is, after all, an enterprise, and services such as FourSquare (the cited tweet was generated by FourSquare) suggest ways in which enterprises can engage their customers. This topic clearly falls within the realm of AppsLab interests.

    But I challenge anyone who follows the “friends of AppsLab” tweets to find the relevance in this tweet (“it must take forever to film a hallmark channel movie. filming must stop for firefighters' day, millard fillmore's birthday…”). I feel sorry for the enterprise student who runs across that particular tweet in the AppsLab feed; the poor soul will end up invoking the former acronym for the Wisconsin Tourism Federation.

    And the AppsLab list is a special case, because of its exploratory nature. What if someone were to set up a narrower list, such as “people interested in Oracle Database”? For that list, even a discussion of WebLogic may be considered off-topic.

    While I know that social media is supposed to be all about people, in reality social media is also about topics that interest the people. For enterprises and enterprise workers to truly mine the information that is out there, we need better ways to do it. Following a person or a list of persons, while appropriate in a generic social media context, may not be appropriate in an enterprise social media context.

    Unfortunately, our search tools aren't smart enough to do this at this time. I cannot think of a way to search Twitter for “AppsLab-y” tweets. When will our search tools become intelligent enough to distinguish “I just ate a mango” from “I just told FourSquare that I drank a mango shake at a local business”?

  8. Jake Says:

    Does this mean you want off the list b/c no one leaves the list. You understand that right.

    :)

    I don't think of lists as topical. Anyone who uses Twitter for five minutes knows topics vary wildly from one second to the next. Even if people try to group by topic, they're bound to be disappointed at times.

    The point of the list is to showcase the people who loosely belong to the community around this team and/or blog.

    I've actually warmed to hashtags for creating topics; they're frictionless and powerful. The #oow09 hashtag had tons of good content, but even then, some off-topic stuff.

    I generally disagree that focus on people creates problems, since people do work. Sample any work environment, and you'll see tons of off-topic content. We need ways to filter out content, e.g. hashtags, search, etc.

  9. joel garry Says:

    You know how much data mining is available in twitter when the short links (-aZitZ) are more interesting as non sequiturs than the actual tweets.

  10. Jake Says:

    And yet you still know this so somehow you've got the stink of Twitter on you :) It's not so bad. You'll see.

    Insert Body Snatchers music here.

  11. John E. Bredehoft (Empoprises) Says:

    Jake, you can then convince Joel to “check in” to places… :)

  12. Jake Says:

    Everyone will be assimilated.

  13. Deirdre Franks Says:

    Sigh, I’m just hooked to twitter readers at this point. All the people truthfully tend not to do much for me, but yet it simply offers me a content feeling on the inside realizing that folks are basically, well quite possibly reading what I write about.

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