Content curation is the hot new trend in internet and smart phone use. There is simply no other way to filter the growing amount of unwanted content that shows up when we go online and look for the content that is important to us as individuals.
A person who writes and researches may want the top stories, but not the latest on Lindsay Lohan and Justin Bieber. With content curation, there are websites and new Twitter features that allow the user to customize their home page in a host of ways.
For Twitter, the lists help to screen out the busy entreprenuers or to at least corral the ones that have services and products that are appealing. Specific groups of contacts, such as business contacts, school and social groups, family and others can be grouped and the tweets catalogued as the user sees fit.
This makes the Twitter lists into customized pages that contain updates and overviews of the latest tweets from selected and specific groups of users. It provides a complete stream of what it is that people in the group are saying, rather than a static list of titles or names.
The Twitter sidebar has a “new list” button. This allows the user to create up to 20 lists. The “find people”, followers and follower lists, or general search can be used to find new folk to add to a list. Then the user can subscribe to and follow their own lists to stay up to date on each group’s activity.
Of course, lists can be added and deleted and the individuals on the list can be added and deleted to keep the content curation in good shape.
An interesting feature will be the ability to make twitter lists for music playlists such as iTunes, Spotify and and others. Then favorite artists and their twitter sites can be corralled and shared with Twitter friends.
There is a Twitter List widget for websites, too! This allows the twitter list to be shared with visitors to a particular website, which will make businesses very happy.
The problem with Twitter lists is that the list members may tweet about anything. If a list is for a very specific topic or context, then it is easy for it to become clogged with tweets that migrate toward whatever else is on people’s minds or is getting their attention. Trends in events can cause the tweets to seriously drag a very specific topic into directions that are on a changing and volatile basis. The context of something in one group may be quite different in another group, and context can change and evolve very quickly in social networking.
This is why some of the newer developments in the Twitter lists feature will be looking for ways to refine content, keywording and other factors to keep the topic drift and context chaos under more control.
And, of course, there are already “Top Ten”lists that filter the entire Twitter universe and are available for those who do not feel like creating more than a few of their own favorites, family and friends lists.
At any rate, the long awaited content curation features of Twitter Lists will probably encourage more users to spread their wings and explore, while veteran users will be better able to organize, manage and customize the content that is available to them.
Josh Cattone, “How TO: Use Twitter Lists”, Mashable.com, November 2010