Are Twitter Lists Exclusionary?

November 1, 2009

Two of social media’s key thought leaders see Twitter lists differently.

Chris Brogan yesterday wrote that he felt Twitter lists were exclusionary and put people at risk for feeling left out. Robert Scoble shot back with the idea that lists are, by their very nature, exclusionary but necessary.

Despite his liberal use of capital letters, I have to side with Scoble on this one. After just a few days with Twitter lists I can say that my lists are quite exclusionary. That’s what makes them so useful. When I want to hear what doctors and nurses are talking about I can turn the channel to healthcare. This allows me to exclude all the social media wonks like Scoble and Brogan. And when I want Scoble, Brogan, Armano or Rubel I tune everyone else out by watching my Thought Leaders.

Will lists become the new metric of power? I’m not sure about that. I have some concern that ‘list ranking’ will miss the influentials who hang in niche areas on Twitter.

Right now the real benefit would appear to be the egos of our beloved social media gurus who can’t seem to keep up with their listings. Twitter attracts social media people who in turn want to pay homage to their social media heros. I anticipate they have the most to gain.

Power metric be damned, Twitter lists allow me to tune my human signal just a little bit better.  And that puts me closer to where I need to be.


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