18 Responses to How @formulists Killed the Value of the Twitter LIST

  1. Just seen this and I understand the point – but I dont agree that Formulists was bad. It served a very useful purpose for me and I’d like it back if that were possible.

  2. jmacofearth says:

    Don’t you still think we need a way to OPT-OUT of ALL formulists inclusions? If I don’t [email protected]_formulists:[email protected] for example? Then don’t add me to any auto-lists.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Hi Dave,

    Most formulists are by default made to be private Twitter lists (and the others are left without a default privacy setting).  Are there any lists in particular you are thinking of that are best served as private lists? 

  4. jmacofearth says:

    There is potential value in building filtered lists. Mostly however, they are rubbish. I don’t think the auto version of lists is a good one. #formulists #twitter

  5. Dave Larson says:

    The "spammiest" of the lists should simply be private. Some of them are a reasonable tool, others less so.

  6. jmacofearth says:

    Thanks Natalie, and thank you for responding. I understand your proposition. I’m just not very happy with the clutter *I* think it creates. I also agree that I am being opinionated and harsh with Formulists. That’s what I do, when I don’t like something. And in working to make Twitter a better place, I do see how Formulists CAN/COULD be used to make some valuable lists. But in the same way that I am against AUTO-DMs and Scheduled ReTweets, I’m not a big fan of a bot, or automated process taking over for something as promising as LISTS.

    We may not ever see the landscape the same, but I do respect your opinion and what Formulists is attempting to do.

    That said, you should give Twitter users an option to OPT-OUT of all future Formulists. Either have them register and then set a preference, or simply give us, users not really all that enthusiastic about Formulists, an option to say NO. That’s not too much to ask is it?



  7. Hi John,

    The core idea behind Formulists is in fact to help build real connections with people that are important to our users.  Lists make it possible to break an otherwise crazy and busy stream into manageable feeds which in turn makes it easy for people to focus and engage with the tweeps on those lists. So our goal is to do the work of finding and grouping tweeps for our users so they can better focus on engaging with them. We can find and group people in a number of ways including (but not limited to) where they’re from, how much you talk to them, or a topic they are an expert in.  As one example I have used Formulists to quickly create a list of Austin tweeps which would be valuable for Austin people looking to discover and build relationships with other locals (http://ow.ly/5cfyU).  It’s awesome that you have taken the time to put together such great lists and it is true that Formulists are not a replacement for every single kind of Twitter list.   All Formulists are based around “formulas” (ie: who RTed me most this year, sociable moms in my network, food trucks in SF, etc)  and so it is in cases where users are looking to discover or engage more with a specific type of tweep that we can help make the job a lot easier.  I have written a blog post to help answer some common questions about Formulists (http://ow.ly/5cgUW) and if you are interested I would also be happy to work with you further on demonstrating the value our service can provide.


    Natalie (from Formulists)

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