Posted by: judyweightman | April 11, 2013

Twitter How-To Part VIII: Creating and using lists

Once the number of people you follow hits the triple digits — let alone quadruple digits or more — it becomes impossible to read every single tweet in your feed. There are a couple of strategies for making sure you see the ones you really want to read.

One of these is to create lists, which is a way of organizing your followees. Typical categories include:

  • topics (politics, local news, funny feeds, shared hobby — anything of interest to you)
  • profession
  • geographic location (people who live in your city or region)
  • relationship to you (friends, family, coworkers)

but you can divvy people up in any way that helps (or amuses) you.

To create a list, go to your “Me” page, which has the tab to get to your lists.

01 me lists

and click on “Create a new list.”

02 create list

You’ll get a pop-up in which you can name, describe, and set the privacy settings for your list. (You may want to keep your lists of personal friends private, but most of mine are public.)

After you’ve created your lists, go to the profile of the account you want to add a list or lists.

Click on the icon next to the “follow/following” button and on the dropdown, click on “add or remove from lists,”

03 add to list

then click on the list or lists you want to add the person to.

04 which list

(“Real-life tweeps” are, oddly enough, people I know in real life.) Once you’ve clicked however many lists you want to add the person to, all you have to do is close the pop-up — there’s no “save” on it. Note that most people tweet on multiple topics, so you may want to put them on more than one of your lists — for instance, a fellow editor I know in real life who lives in Philly would be on three.

Obviously, this is kind of a pain in the butt — the earlier in your Twitter career you start creating and maintaining lists, the better off you are.

If you click on the name of one of the lists, the recent tweets by members of that list appear.

05 list tweets

To see all the members of that list, click on “List members.”

06 list members

The other tab in the Lists list is labeled “Member of.” These are lists that other people have placed you on.

07 list membership

If you find one of these intriguing, you can subscribe to it yourself — just click on the list and then click on “subscribe.”

Why go through this rigamarole? Once you’ve got the lists, you can use them to see portions of your Twitter feed, enabling you to check on just the topics or tweeters you’re most interested in when you don’t have time to read through your entire feed.

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