Sunday, November 1, 2009

What Does Twitter Lists Reveal About You?

This past week, many of us were introduced to Twitter lists. As with all new things, we are trying to figure out how to use the tool. For those who have not yet had the opportunity to play around with Twitter lists, take a moment to read, "Twitter Rolls Out List Feature".

As of this entry, I have created only one list. The list is private and groups a few of my closest Twitter friends.

After adding a few names to the private list, I started thinking how I might organize other people into groups. Looking at Chris Brogan, Louis Gray, or Robert Scoble, I struggle with the right word to describe them. Are they bloggers, technology experts, social media gurus, or a combination of them all?

You may think its easy to group people into categories, but this situation shows me that I am not quite ready. I have friends from high school, college, fraternity, home town, and everywhere in between.


With lists, we reduce complex people into a single thought or idea. This isn't to say a group is a bad thing, but the option really begs us to rethink our relationships with others.

For those who have already made the plunge into lists, there is an opportunity to see where you stand in the world. It is awfully revealing.

For bloggers, marketers, brands, and individuals alike, this is an opportunity to measure your influence and the effectiveness of your message. If, for example, you are a blogger that talks about social media tools, you would expect to see your name listed in groups related to social media. What if you were listed in a group that was totally unrelated to your blog's theme?

The answer to that question provides an insight into the mind of your audience. Maybe people look at you as an inspiration, comedian, technologist, or expert. Whatever the title, it will either reinforce your branding or shed some light on how people really view you.

The the more people categorize you, the better gauge you have to either change your ways or keep doing what you're doing. I believe it is a fantastic metric for those individuals and companies that seek to measure their online reputation, influence, and effectiveness.

For those following themselves on Twitter lists, what has surprised or encouraged you the most thus far? What are your overall thoughts so far about Twitter's new release? Let's explore this together in the comment section below.

Until next time...

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Damond L. Nollan, M.B.A.

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