Twitter Lists, Google Alerts, and the Changing Face of Social Media

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It’s no exaggeration to say that Twitter has been the most useful networking tool I’ve ever used. After months of toiling away on my blog and finding it very difficult to make connections with like-minded individuals, it was Twitter that actually linked me up with writers and geeks all across the globe. So, how I use Twitter is very important in my day-to-day internet communication.

(Though, I should also note that Twitter has also been the vehicle for the most irritating marketing guru/SEO/you-know-what on the face of the planet. For every follower I have, I’ve received twice as many spam bots and porn pictures. What has been seen cannot be unseen… ugh. Seriously guys, you’ve got to figure out something better than leaving it up to us to block the offensive crap…)

While I’m surprised that it’s taken Twitter as long as it has to finally catch up, they recently released a new list feature, allowing users to construct and follow lists rather than individuals. At first, I didn’t think this was that much of a big deal. I already have lists in TweetDeck that let me pare down the people I follow to the ones I’m most likely to listen to on a given day. But recently, I’ve realized there’s a good number of people that I should be following, but for some reason have not. But by the same token, I don’t want to bog down my following list much more; I’m already pretty generous about following back, and I worry about hitting critical mass and actually missing the more important tweets!

Of no shock to anyone, as soon as Twitter released lists, within days we had our first supporting applications, including Listiti. Aside from it’s rather um, weird name, it’s basically a way to integrate Google Alerts with Twitter Lists, and I must say, that’s brilliant.

See, I’m really interested in knowing what’s going on in the publishing industry, but I’m a little hesitant to follow hundreds of editors, agents, and writers, especially considering many of them might not be talking about stuff that pertains to me. But with Listiti, I can follow a particularly good list and include a keyword like “steampunk” or “speculative fiction” (genres I often write) and I’ll only get Twitter notifications when those particular keywords come up.

Seriously. Awesome.

As my Twitter account has grown I’ve worried about how the hell I’m going to keep up; as I said, maintaining the network I’ve built is really important to me. Seems like Listiti will really help me in that department… if only they could create an application that will help me browse the best matching lists… or get rid of porn spam and marketing gurus for good.

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