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Twitter's lists

Thursday, October 15, 2009 by Dave Winer.

A picture named tweetophone.jpgLike a bunch of other people I had the new Twitter lists feature turned on today. Immediately I needed a list to explore and had a bunch of ready-made ideas. I had already done aggregated feeds of the top 100 most followed people on Twitter, the employees of the Twitter company and the NY Times, the Twin Cities and most recently Berkeley Twitterers.  Permalink to this paragraph

The last one I replicated as a Twitter list.  Permalink to this paragraph

If you don't yet have the feature turned on, you'll get a blank page on the last link. Here's a screen shot of what it looks like.  Permalink to this paragraph

Basically you get a flow of all the people I've chosen to put on the Berkeley list. Permalink to this paragraph

Depending on what the API looks like we'll probably see all kinds of tools for combining and cloning lists.  Permalink to this paragraph

It's a new authority system. The number of lists you appear on is a kind of page-rank. So let's hope Twitter does two things: 1. Provides an open API to crawl this data set. 2. Doesn't pollute it by artificially inflating the rank of friendly press and their industry friends. Stay out of the editorial space and let a healthy ecosystem develop. It's another chance to not screw it up. Permalink to this paragraph

Some people have said it's somehow related to the Suggested User List but I don't see it at all. This feature is for advanced users, the SUL is for total newbies. Unless Twitter somehow data mines our lists, something they could have done right at the start, it won't have any impact on the newbies' user experience. Permalink to this paragraph

Update: As you would expect, Scoble is going crrrazy with this feature! A picture named sidesmiley.gif Permalink to this paragraph

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A picture named dave.jpgDave Winer, 54, pioneered the development of weblogs, syndication (RSS), podcasting, outlining, and web content management software; former contributing editor at Wired Magazine, research fellow at Harvard Law School, entrepreneur, and investor in web media companies. A native New Yorker, he received a Master's in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin, a Bachelor's in Mathematics from Tulane University and currently lives in Berkeley, California.

"The protoblogger." - NY Times.

"The father of modern-day content distribution." - PC World.

One of BusinessWeek's 25 Most Influential People on the Web.

"Helped popularize blogging, podcasting and RSS." - Time.

"The father of blogging and RSS." - BBC.

"RSS was born in 1997 out of the confluence of Dave Winer's 'Really Simple Syndication' technology, used to push out blog updates, and Netscape's 'Rich Site Summary', which allowed users to create custom Netscape home pages with regularly updated data flows." - Tim O'Reilly.


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Last update: 10/15/2009; 5:37:06 PM Pacific. "It's even worse than it appears."

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