November 2009

Prediction about Twitter Lists

This is a quick prediction, but I think that the introduction of lists will change twitter dramatically allowing people to stop following any and all accounts they want to keep up with in favor of adding those accounts to a specific list. This will help make following counts a less important metric to watch for a lot of people. Once it’s understood that you don’t have to be following someone to add them to a list people will begin to adjust who they are following to those they actually know and interact with moving news and site feeds, or celebs and joke accounts over to lists.

This is a good thing.

I’ve long said the value of Twitter lies in creating more interaction with your peers, when your stream is filled with updates from your close circle of friends Twitter truly does become a social sixth sense. This gets muddied when your stream starts filling up with automated posts from sites you read, tweets from people you think are interesting but don’t actually know.

Two examples – I’m currently on just under 100 lists. A lot of those lists are created by people I don’t know and titled things like “tech” “internet” or “web” suggesting they follow me because of my relation to the web and that what I tweet about often relates to those topics. For any of those people who wanted to keep up with what I was saying, previously they would have had to follow me. That increased my follower count, but also put my tweets in their main stream. This means they might not see a tweet from a friend they regularly hang out with because I went on some rant about coffee. Now, they can stop following me but keep me on their tech list which allows them to stay better on top of their actual friends tweets, but also anytime they want to see what I or others are talking about in the web world they can just check the list they made and voila!

I’ve been saying that “follower count” is a stupid thing to track because it doesn’t really say anything about how many people are reading your updates.

The other example is that I follow a lot of people I know in cities other than the one I’m in. I follow them because we’re friends, but also because when I am in their cities they are who I usually interact with. The problem with that, is often these people spend a lot of time talking about things going on in their cities which if I’m not there are not useful to me and just fill up my stream with info I don’t need. I don’t want to stop following them for fear I’d forget their username when I did travel back there, but now thanks to lists I can create a New York list, a San Francisco list, a Berlin list, a Tokyo list, a Singapore list, etc and then I no longer need to follow those people in my main stream as anytime I need to know what is up in that corner of the world I have a list all set to go.

So my prediction is as people get more of a grasp on lists, they will stop following celebs they never actually speak with in favor of adding them to a list of celebs, they will stop following CNN and BBC news feeds in favor of creating a news list, they will stop following bands they like listening to in favor of a music list. This will make their main feeds more personal and a lot of the people who have joined Twitter in the last 24 months will see a whole other value to the service, one that many people who have been on much longer used to rave about which caused more people to join and actually ended up hurting.

Hi Hollywood Gets Reviewed. Every. Single. Bit.

TEMP-Image_5_917If you are on top if it you’ve already downloaded and read ‘Hi Hollywood’ and have more than likely committed much of it to memory. I can say, without any bias what so ever (other than that I helped write it) that it really is that good. But in the very slim chance you haven’t yet, it’s worth pointing out that one completely unrelated die hard fan has actually reviewed every single story in the book on it’s own. Really. Check these out:

Captain Cougars

Cabin again

This last weekend Tara and I spent a few days at El Capitan Canyon, an anniversary gift from our friend Mike. Shane says he liked to call the place “fancy camping” which is pretty accurate. It’s outside and surrounded by nature for sure, but inside the cabins things were fairly civilized with big soft beds and giant soaking bath tubs so it was pretty far from roughing it. There was a fire pit outside so if you are so inclined, as we were, you can cook and make smores and totally pretend you are camping for real.

We kept seeing signs all over the campground warning us about Cougars/Mountain Lions which were common in the area. We saw deer, gophers, rabbits, bugs, and all kinds of other stuff but none of these fabled mountain lions. I figured they were probably just scared so to try and make friends with them I left some garlic and onion potato chips on the porch one night before we went to sleep. I passed right out but Tara said at some point in the night she heard something up on the porch eating them. She didn’t look, but it’s a pretty safe assumption that it was a mountain lion as far as I’m concerned.

In fact, my guess is that in this economy the mountain lions are getting hit hard and probably starving so the chips I left out there probably saved their lives. I’m pretty much a damn conservationalist at this point, I’d say.