After I’d been using Twitter for a while, I decided to try and organise and structure my Twitter use. I set up additional accounts with the aim of using these as a way to send tweets on specific topics. People could therefore subscribe to these without being bored by my general ramblings on other things. I also set up a number of lists with the aim of organising tweets from people I follow into separate streams.
You can add people to a list without following them but I didn’t realise that this only sort of works. If someone on your list decides to make their tweet stream protected, then they silently disappear. There are also inconsistencies in reading conversations from a list where you follow some people and not others.
However, the biggest problem that I had with lists is that I never looked at some of them. I use Tweetdeck and this gives me 4 columns on my laptop screen. Of course, I could scroll to look at other columns but, in practice, I don’t do that. I suspect I miss some interesting tweets although that’s not something to lose sleep over.
So, over the next few days, I plan to reorganise my Twitter use. The essential principles are:
1. Only a single twitter account. All others will be closed. I’ll use a hashtag when I remember to identify the type of post so people can filter using that.
2. Everyone I follow will be on a list and I will follow everyone that’s on one of my lists.
3. I will use no more than 4 lists.
4. I get very few direct messages and I tend to miss them when they come as they aren’t on my Tweetdeck view. I’ll turn on email notifications for these and only look at them when I get a notification.
Deciding on what lists to use will, I think, be an experimental process. My initial ideas are:
List 1: Friends and family
List 2: Personal interests (outdoors, photography, cooking)
List 3: Professional interests (Science, computing, engineering)
List 4: News, media, etc.
At this stage, I don’t know how well this will work but try it for a while then refine it.
So, if I follow you on Twitter, don’t be surprised to get some notifications of changes.