Back in November 2009, Twitter launched Twitter lists. I don’t want to ponder their many uses, but ponder how well behaved we are online.
The mainstream media would have you believe social media is the shadowy realm of stalkers, burglars, paedophiles and narcissists, but actually it’s more like the home of good catalogue keepers – if lists are anything to go by.
Now, I haven’t undertaken a formal study into this … this blog is based on my own observations.
Most of the first Twitter lists I saw emerge were based on a geographic location. Adelaide tweeters have an ‘Adelaide’ list for example. There were ‘Aussie’ lists and ‘Melbourne tweeps’ and so on.
Other lists were based on professions (‘marketing’ ‘media’) or areas of interest (‘internet technologies’ ‘social media’ ‘travel’). And yes, there were a helluva lot of social media lists.
After a time, tweeters began to pull together different lists, along the lines of ‘people I have met’ and ‘top locals’ and ‘confirmed real person’. These were only a slight upgrade from location-based lists, but at least people were using more informal language.
Lists are almost de rigueur for conferences (along with conference hashtags). So you’ll get a list of tweeters who attended the Tweet Mania Santa Fe conference in 2010. (Don’t Google it, I just made it up). (Okay, do Google it and tell me what you find). Still fairly banal though, isn’t it? Fairly safe and well-behaved.
In the last 2-3 months, more fun has emerged.
I bemoaned the fact that there weren’t enough silly lists (via Twitter of course) and said I wanted to be on a silly list. So pal @catep36 produced this list: The same day, @idrewthis produced this list [it’s a long story]. Of course, that made my day. Why aren’t there more Twitter lists like this?
I’m guessing it’s because people don’t expect to have fun with lists. They’ll have fun with status updates and photos and hashtags. But lists are supposed to be functional, right? Or not?
Among my first lists was the ‘Earwig Haters’ list. I detest the little, evil-looking bugs with their evil-looking horns. And I assumed a lot of other people would. So I initiated that list and threw a few random tweet friends onto it, to see what would happen. A few noticed and enjoyed it; a few asked me what was going on; most didn’t notice. Occasionally, someone will demand to be added to my Earwig Haters list. It’s great when that happens.
However, despite my social media narcissistic tendencies that lead me to believe the entire universe is reading my tweets, very few additional silly lists were created.
I thought earwigs would pave the way. Sadly, I was mistaken.
Have you seen any funny Twitter lists? Or will you make one now? [Add me!]