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Twitter Lists: Recovering the Magic of Discovery on Twitter

Screen Shot 2012 03 27 at 11.38.48 AM Twitter Lists: Recovering the Magic of Discovery on Twitter

Back in the day, Twitter created LISTS and LISTS were good.

Then Formulists came along and the lists became full of auto-curated "auto-lists" and the LIST lost a lot of its magic.

Then Twitter almost demoted the list completely. Check your twitter page, can you find LISTS? And about 95% of the time I visit "Lists Subscribed To" the page is broken. And (this is a good thing) Twitter has removed the "XX-user is a member of 2,444 lists" stat, that was leading to more gaming. (Question: Would Twitter be a better place if they eliminated the Follower and Following counts from the system all together? It would probably be a lot less gamey.)

Today, I’m ready to declare that THE TWITTER LIST is BACK. Let me explain.

Now under the @Connect Tab are little mentions that look like this:

Screen Shot 2012 03 27 at 11.08.18 AM Twitter Lists: Recovering the Magic of Discovery on Twitter

The new @Connect TAB reinstates the power of the LIST. Now, when someone adds you to a LIST, they have manually included you in a group (theoretically of like-minded people) and perhaps you would be interested in the others in your new "included" group. And sure enough, a quick view of the list above, from 100pctSolutions and violá, there is a whole new group of people I ‘might’ like to follow.

In the world of Twitter Discovery (trying to find people who are of interest to your objectives) LISTS are invaluable. Now that the auto-lists company is gone, the value of the hand-curated LIST on Twitter is a great place to start looking for others to join in conversation.

And as I say all the time, Twitter is a two-way communication protocol. If you tweet something the good thing to do is actually BE ONLINE so you can respond to any RTs or conversations that get kicked off by your tweets.

I understand the "broadcast" mentality. I understand the tendency towards "scheduling your tweets," but I am against it. Maybe if I were DellFactoryOutlet and my revenue was proportionate to the number of tweets and responses I get during the course of each 24-hour cycle, but I’m not.

I am a person. I am an individual. I am part of the marketing/advertising complex that can make or break Twitter adoption and usage. And of course, I am not the Twitter police.

I believe in the philosophy, "I am here now." So if you catch me tweeting at 4am, it’s because I woke up early, or I haven’t gone to bed yet. Some of the conversations I have online in odd hours, via Twitter or Facebook or TXT… Well, we are all wanting to "connect." That’s what makes social media work. Being social.

If I use Buffer or Hootsuite to "broadcast" a promo tweet several times during the day and night, I’m merely couponing the twitterverse. It’s okay, it’s just not the way I hope to use and encourage the use of Twitter. I have my radical ideas. Auto-scheduled tweets are not part of them.

@jmacofearth (also seen on Google+: jmacofearth)

permalink: The Twitter Way page for all the Twitter Ideas in one place.

Other posts about kicking ass in social media:

See all of the Social Media Marketing Videos on the Social U. page.

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ROCKIN THE TWEET: Twitter Tools, Twitter Lists, Stats, Discovery #Twitter

Category: community building,social media,toolsjmacofearth @ 8:13 am

Screen shot 2010 03 06 at 4.08.06 PM ROCKIN THE TWEET: Twitter Tools, Twitter Lists, Stats, Discovery #TwitterIt’s not the tool it’s how you manage it. So here are a few ideas I’d like to share around managing your social media status-sphere. It really doesn’t matter if you like Twitter, Facebook or Google+. What matters is how you use it.

First up: Twitter Lists.

What are they? Why you need ‘m. And why your Tweetdeck or Hootsuite lists are different.

So what I would like to ask you, as you are starting to re-frame your social media accounts is this, "If I can’t add you to one of my Twitter lists I probably shouldn’t be following you in the first place."

There is a 500 tweep limit for Twitter lists. So beyond that you will have to create 2nd and 3rd lists to keep your "austin friends"  together in your lists. You will notice I have an "austin friends" and an "austin friends 2" lists. This is not an indication of favoratism, but merely a reaching of the Twitter List 500 tweep maximum. I suspect I will be giving up my "tennis" list or my "cats and dogs" list in the future to build an "austin friends 3" list. But not today. (grin)

RULE of TWITTER ADDITION: before you click "follow" figure out what list you are going to add someone to and then do both. 1. Follow; 2. Add To List.

RULE of TWITTER SUBTRACTION: if you are following someone and you can’t put them on a list, perhaps you should consider unfollowing them. 1. Examine who you follow; 2. Add all "friends" to a list; 3. UF, unfollow everyone you cannot place on one of your lists. (Why were you following them in the first place?)

Next: Twitter Tools

Fact: You can’t manage Twitter on You need tools. Aside from the Twitter Tools Matrix, here is the shortlist for Twitter clients I recomend.

1. Tweetdeck; 2. Seesmic; 3. Hootsuite. And more recently, a Mac-only favorite is Nambu.

Next: Twitter Stats and Analytics

While following and being followed in Twitterville is interesting, almost as interesting and potentially more valuable is the tools that allow you to see what people are tweeting about. Example: during the SuperBowl 2010 the hashtags #nfl and #superbowl and #superbowlads were quite popular with tweeters who were rating the advertisements that were paying over a million dollars per 30 sec. slot. So if your ad didn’t "trend" within these hashtags you can bet the audience mostly ignored it, or forgot about it. And there were a number of unremarkable ads.

TERM: "Trending." When something is trending on Twitter it means the Tweet volume is so large that it is showing up as one of the top twenty most frequent words being tweeted.

So what tools are my most used when looking at Twitter trends? Here are my top Twitter stats and analytics tools.

1. TwitterVenn (making Venn diagrams out of trends is fun and easy); 2. TwitterFall (a visual browser for seeing hashtags and searches) ; 3. Twitter Trends Map (see the topics that are trending worldwide);

Finally: Twitter Discovery Tools

Finding new people to follow, new trends to track and new hashtags to search for is all part of the beauty of Twitter.

1. Mr. Tweet (who you follow and who they recommend); 2. FriendorFollow (are they following you back?); 3. NearbyTweets (how’s close to you and tweeting?); 4. Twittoria (information about your flock)

Take the time to add value to your Tweets. Don’t just follow to gain followers. If you can’t put them on a Twitter List, don’t follow them. Lists will become the new marker of Twitter Authority.

No, you can’t ask me to add you to a list. I must discover you and add you manually. Yes, you can ask me, but I’m likely to… consider it first.

Keep it social and let me know if I can help socialize your business results.

@jmacofearth (also seen on Google+: jmacofearth)

permalink: ‎

Check out the Social Media for Business page and these other posts about learning social media:

See also: The Twitter Way and the TwitterTools Matrix

Finally an amazing image of some of the visualization tools linked off of VisualComplexity.

Screen shot 2010 03 06 at 6.56.54 PM ROCKIN THE TWEET: Twitter Tools, Twitter Lists, Stats, Discovery #Twitter

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The 7th Discipline of Social Media; KLOUT, the New Measure of Influence

<see my newest Klout post: Killing Klout for an update on this continuing story.>

Screen shot 2011 06 21 at 11.24.33 AM The 7th Discipline of Social Media; KLOUT, the New Measure of Influence

When a new system for social media comes out, I’m pretty slow on the uptake. Klout has been around for a bit, but I wasn’t really intrigued until the topic started showing up in conversations.

Quick tip: Know your Klout score. Love it. Influence it by being a real participant. Respect the Klout.

There is no question, managing and improving your social media reputation (sometimes called authority) is a hard piece of social media puzzle. You can post like hell. You can LIKE everything and every company in sight. You can Tweet your ass off. And still your "authority" is only as good as your current job, or publication, or speaking engagement. Some of this is about to change, IMHO, with the next generation of "influence" measurement and reporting. KLOUT.

Here is what my initial Klout dashboard looks like.

Screen shot 2011 06 21 at 11.25.53 AM The 7th Discipline of Social Media; KLOUT, the New Measure of Influence

Extracting a few of my top connections from Twitter, Klout has assigned me a few key topics, social media (check), austin (check), blogging (check).

Here’s an interesting part of Klout’s scoring, the Network Influence graph:

Screen shot 2011 06 21 at 11.32.22 AM The 7th Discipline of Social Media; KLOUT, the New Measure of Influence

There are some deeper analytics of your Tweeting influence deeper inside Klout. But the chart above gives some examples of things that factor in on your score. Unique mentions, Unique Retweeters, Unique Commenters, are all quite interesting to me.

And then Klout puts your influence style in a matrix along with some of your associates.

Screen shot 2011 06 21 at 11.33.31 AM The 7th Discipline of Social Media; KLOUT, the New Measure of Influence

And finally, the piece that I think will bring Klout above the noise of "me too" influence apps. The browser plug-in. Once added to my Chrome browser (there’s a Firefox version too) the Tweeters Klout scores are reported next to their image.

Screen shot 2011 06 21 at 11.42.05 AM The 7th Discipline of Social Media; KLOUT, the New Measure of Influence

In the process of Twitter discovery (finding new people to follow) I believe the K-score is going to be a huge help. The spammers and pornsters on Twitter won’t be able to build up a K-score at all. And those of us working within the boundaries should see our influence and the influence of our influencers increase.

Let’s hope Klout keeps the gaming opportunities to a minimum. What we do need now is another clean social media measuring stick that can guide us toward the  gold and away from the chafe.




The Disciplines of Social Media:

Check out your Klout score.

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Twitter Exploded and Examined, Part 1

Category: social media,tech opinion,tools,twitter wayjmacofearth @ 7:07 am

Twitter can be overwhelming when you first check in. One of the problems is the interface, which has evolved into a complex system. I suggest you use a tool like Tweetdeck to manage your Twitter following. But there are few tasks which require the interface. Let’s look at the primary screen on

Screen shot 2011 06 14 at 6.50.32 AM Twitter Exploded and Examined, Part 1

click on image to open fullscreen on

There are a lot of things to learn about Twitter, but the main thing is learning how you will begin to use it. The value you bring to Twitter is what you will get out of it. If you merely blast self-promo messages or coupon/deals, that’s all you will find on Twitter. If, on the other hand, you find something you really want to tweet about, you just might find a following of people who are interested in the same subject. Seek them out. Converse with them, ReTweet them, engage with them.



Twitter Exploded is available as a single slide on for downloading and printing as a reference.

A few additional posts about using Twitter.

All the Twitter related posts can be found on The Twitter Way tab.


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