The Big List Debate
In recent weeks there have been a number of lists that came out by various people in the RE.net space. Roost is currently on the 4th installment of 50 RE People You Should Follow on Twitter, Stefan Swanepoel’s 2 part series on the 100 Influential & Interesting Real Estate People, and Dustin Luther’s analytical 50 Most Influential Real Estate People on Twitter, to name a few.
The ensuing debate on Twitter was extensive and intriguing spurred by Marc Davisson. He continued the conversation in his post Measuring Influence on Twitter: Who “Cares?”
So when I saw the Beta for Twitter Lists on my profile, I was not too sure how I felt about it. As a matter of fact, I committed Beta Twitter sin by tweeting about that uncertainty within moments of seeing the Beta headline. Someone was kind enough to give me a heads up about my faux pas.
Lists and Influence
I admit, I didn’t do anything for a few days. I was reluctant and I have to say that even as I began to build my lists, it felt uncomfortable. It’s as if you are defining a clique of some kind. But, I began to notice something else. When I had a new follower, I found myself checking the number of lists they were on.
Normally, I evaluate my desire to follow back by the ratio of followers to those they follow, the number of tweets, and primarily – are they engaging or are the simply broadcasting or spamming their content. This list feature added a different tool to evaluate their ‘influence’, if you will.
For example, I noticed one follower seemed very connected, very active. He had 25,000+ followers and over 20,000 tweets. My initial thought was that he certainly seemed to have an audience for his message. And yet, with all of those followers, at that point, no one had put him on a list. Interesting…and it made me wonder, he may have a lot to say, but do people really care? Is he really connecting?
Time Will Tell
The Beta is still Buggy and I’m not sure when the roll out will be more extensive. Only time and a broader use of this new feature will tell what the impact will be, however, I do think this has changed the game quite a bit.
My current perception is that evaluating a twitter follower has changed. Evaluating influence and engagement has changed. Following lists, rather than individuals may have a place.
Check out this very interesting evaluation by Robert Scoble. I’m interested in your experience and insights if you have been playing with the Beta. And even if you have not, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the new Twitter list feature.