December 3, 2013

Step by Step: Creating a Twitter List

I'm thinking about doing some Twitter tips for my students next semester, so I'm going to put possible tips here for now, writing out the instructions before I decide which ones to actually use at my class website. So, here are my preliminary notes for a Tech Tip on creating a Twitter list!

To create a Twitter list, go to your Twitter account, then click on Lists. You will then see a button to "Create List." When you create a list, you will be prompted to give the list a name, along with an optional description. You can make the list public so that other people can see and subscribe to the list, or you can decide to keep it private.

You can use the Search feature to find people to add, or you can just click on people as you find them but, instead of following them, you can add them to a list. Instead of clicking on the Follow button (blue bird), just click on the button next to it, which will give you a dropdown menu allowing you to add to (or remove from) a list.

The great advantage of lists is that it is a way to keep track of someone's tweets without following them so that their tweets show up in your stream. So, for example, I keep a Doctor Who list. I love Doctor Who, and just for fun I like to follow the Doctor Who Twitterverse... but it's not something I have time for every day, and I cannot resist the temptation of seeing all those tweets in my main stream! (For people who use Google+ as I do, lists are a lot like circles, at least in terms of how you can use them to manage your incoming tweets.)

When you create a list, it has an address, so here is the list for Doctor Who that I created:

Because it is a URL, you can bookmark it, which gives you instant and easy access to the list, and you can favorite and retweet posts from a list stream, just as you can from a regular stream.

You can also make a widget based on a list. Just go to Settings, choose Widgets, Create New Widget, choose the List tab, select the list, choose your other options, and then create the widget! Twitter will then give you the HTML you need to embed the widget as you can see below.

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