Posted October 1, 2009 9:14 am by with 27 comments

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It will all end in tears.

OK, maybe the A-List won’t be crying, but if you thought the “they’re not following me” snub was bad, Twitter’s about to ramp up your angst with the pending launch of Lists.

Twitter Lists will allow you to create your own themed list of Twitter users. Want to create a list of the best search engine marketers? Go ahead, create that bad boy. But note this:

Lists are public by default (but can be made private) and the lists you’ve created are linked from your profile. Other Twitter users can then subscribe to your lists. This means lists have the potential to be an important new discovery mechanism for great tweets and accounts.

I bolded that first part, because it is important. Twitter wants you to make your lists public. Sure it has its own list of uber-users that all noobs get presented with, but Twitter would like your help discovering niches–and sharing those niche lists with the twitterverse.

OK, that sounds all well and good. Add your family to a list. Create one for your favorite marketing bloggers…ahem! But, the lists you make public could have you facing some tough questions from those that are snubbed.

For example, what if you created a list of top technology CEOs, but didn’t include your boss. What if your lists of affiliate marketing gurus left off your friend because, well let’s face it, she’s not that good at affiliate marketing. Keep your list public at your own risk!

Now let’s look at this from a snubbee’s perspective. Twitter is already full of cliques, Lists just formalizes them and confirms your worst fears–you are indeed a nobody. You’ll lie awake at night wondering why you weren’t included on such-and-such’s list. Doesn’t he like me? Does he think I’m not good enough? And don’t tell me it won’t happen–either you’re in denial, or you’re just not admitting it publicly.

Twitter Lists provide a lot of great uses–I can’t wait to get my hands on them. But this Pilgrim has been around the block and he’s seen the cold chills some folks get when shunned from the infamous “A-List.” Now they’ll get shunned from the B, C, SEO, SEM, PPC, SMM-Lists too!

Good times! 😉

  • Since we feel the same way….will you include me on your list Andy? lol

    A lot of people were upset about the tweepml SEO list. The author of it included himself, and shouldn’t have even been on that list 🙂

    You’ll probably notice a lot of twitter users doing this (including themselves on the A List lol)

    • Of course I will include you! [I’m lying, but don’t you feel better anyway?] 😛

    • “A lot of people were upset about the tweepml SEO list. The author of it included himself, and shouldn’t have even been on that list”

      Your first statement is simply not true. That list was very popular and generated a lot of positive buzz for the folks on the list. I got countless DM’s thanking me for the list.

      As to your 2nd statement…I actually value myself and my abilities..sorry if that rubs you the wrong way….although I did make a joke about adding myself to the list.

      Back on topic:
      I think this is a great idea by twitter but will get overused after about a week lol.

  • Anyone who angsts over being left out of a *list online* has far more issues to deal with than social marketing…. :-/
    .-= Barbara Ling, Virtual Coach´s last blog ..Long Tail SEO tips for local business high visibility =-.

    • There are a lot of insecure people on Twitter–which is not surprising when you consider the entire basis for Twitter: “hey, look at me!” 😉

  • I dont really like the idea of creating them from scratch b/c as you said it becomes so dramatized with who is and isnt on the “list”

    Although it will be nice to create a group with a list that already exsists. IE:

    Or maybe one for your company.

    • Yeah, that would be a good list to maintain.

  • add me 🙂
    .-= shivlu jain´s last undefined ..If you register your site for free at =-.

  • Andy, as long as you don’t shun me from your list, you’ll do fine. 🙂

    Honestly, I’m not on Twitter to be on a list. My clients are not other SEOs or marketers. Unfortunately, in a crowd where too amny people want to be seen as gurus and ninjas (put that one on your CV!) there will be some tears.
    .-= David Leonhardt´s last blog ..Look who follows NoFollow links! =-.

    • Yeah, I guess it depends on why you are on twitter. That said, surely we all have a common goal to build our list of followers, which will be helped if we are added to people’s Lists.

  • I think this has the potential to be a nice resource but it will seldom ever be exhaustive because it will only ever include people that are on the creators radar so it’s only their personal view.

    So all in all not a bad feature, but I’d much prefer them to work on some decent analytics functionality instead.
    .-= Adi @ The Management Blog´s last blog ..Proposed pay freeze to hit NHS managers =-.

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  • It’ll be interesting to see how they count “followers” through these lists and if these lists are truly dynamic.

    In other words:

    1) If I were to set up a list
    2) That list gained 1,000 followers
    3) I then removed someone from the list

    … would that person immediately lose 1,000 followers?

    Not being on a list is bad enough but I can only imagine the irritation caused as people are removed.
    .-= Brian Makas´s last blog ..What is Google Sidewiki and Why Does it Matter? =-.

  • I’m OK with Twitter’s proposal, actually. Private lists are available as well – public is just the default. It will upset some people if they don’t get on a list, but they probably don’t get followed by everyone they want to today, either.
    .-= Mark Dykeman´s last blog ..Guest post at Lateral Action today =-.

  • This is great news for Internet Marketers though. It almost seems like parts of is being integrated right into Twitter. It has the potential to really increase your traffic.
    .-= Steven Roddy´s last blog ..The Most Beautiful Man in the World? =-.

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  • This reads like a cautionary tale from the Don of ORM and I am inclined to agree. Of course, there is still some value in lists in the sense that – imperfect as they might be – they can help map put the Twitter territory.
    .-= Oscar Del Santo´s last blog ..SEO 101: What every online PR should know =-.

  • That’s a mountain of a mole-hill..Maybe there are going to be disappointments, but that does not mean Twitter Lists will itself ‘end up in tears’.
    .-= Anand Srinivasan´s last blog ..Most Popular Online Video Properties in Canada =-.

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  • “Man is the creature that makes lists.” ~ Jack Rickard, erstwhile publisher of Boardwatch magazine, which ran a themed or area-code list of dialup BBSes every month from 1987 to 2000 or so. Sold to Mecklermedia for $36.4 million.

    I researched and wrote about that list each month, and got all the mail from the “snubbed” and those who had something to say even though the matter had nothing to do with them (fans). Here is what I said to such plaintiffs:

    “Pride is concern for what you think of yourself. Vanity is concern for what others think of you.”

    They went away quietly, bemused by my koan as I intended.

    Lists will be used skillfully and unskillfully. “Skillfulness,” in Buddhism, is the metric by which one measures how far and in which direction a thought, intention, or action moves you relative to true happiness. The full, terrible truth of Karma is this:

    From every single phenomenon arise *multiple* effects of *both* Yin and Yang (good and bad, skillful and unskillful, helpful to some and hurtful to others, etc.). You cannot do a purely good thing, ever. Nor is any evil perfectly evil; Hitler did make the trains run on time.

    So there is absolutely no point in debating whether Twitter lists are going to be good or bad. Just do it, and let the Karmic Chaos flow as it always will.

  • Please check, a Twitter directory based on personal recommendations on Twitter. The results are rankings of interesting people on Twitter and something like an aggregation of Twitter Lists. It is a german startup, but available in englisch language.

  • Seriously – if people are that concerned about the the twitterverse and real world taking things THAT personally then we have much, much bigger issues. I love the guys I work for. I’ve worked with them the majority of my career. I think they’re brilliant. But do I think they’re “industry leaders”? 99% of it is “no” and “not a chance”. “Industry Leader” is a huge term. There are almost 7 billion people in the world, and I think being singled out as being in the top 5 of those 7 billion users – in any field – is a hell of an accomplishment.

    If people are going to take something as lame as not being on somebody’s “fave list” on twitter, than that individual is doomed to a life of self loathing and misery. To them I say “grow up, pussy.”
    .-= @ryanbaldwin´s last blog ..ryanbaldwin: @arjunbasu your stuff is incredible and inspiring. It makes me want to write again. =-.

  • You can already create Twitter Lists at The best part is that you don’t have to be following someone to add them to a list nor do you need to follow everyone to save a list. It frees you from Timeline overload.

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