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Why I ditched a certain twitter list

Most of you have probably heard of Conversationlist before. For those of you who spend your time worrying about more important things here’s the official blurb:

A “conversationlist” is a Twitter list of the people that you talk to (and about) on Twitter. The list is automatically updated daily, so that it always reflects the people that you are paying attention to right now. If you @reply (or @mention) someone, they’re added to your list. If you stop talking to that person, they drop off your list. 


The list always contains the 25 people you interact with most frequently in any given day. Now this all sounds fairly brilliant but a DM I received yesterday made me realise there’s a little big problem with this. The DM in question said: “my time on your list was very short lived”. After a few DMs back and forward I quickly realised she was referring to my Conversationlist. I apologised and explained that it automatically updates but I quickly wondered how many other people over the months were miffed that they’d been removed from the list.

For me a twitter list is all about building up a list of people I trust or perhaps just people whose tweets I enjoy. In my opinion Conversationalist goes against everything a twitter list should be. It’s far too transient and disposable.

I’ve since deleted Conversationlist. To the person who DM’d me, I salute you!

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  1. I think this is a great idea in principle, but entirely agree with you that there may be people who do get upset that they’ve dropped off the list. And you’ll probably never know they feel that way!Personally, I use Tweetdeck. I have a column called ‘Mates Tweets’. This used to be a column that would pick up ‘mates tweets’. However, it’s grown slightly to include those people whose tweets I enjoy. Job done. For now anyway. And it works for me.

  2. I think some people have to check their ego at the Twitter login page. Someone thought so highly of themselves that they were checking your lists to see when they were off??? What were THEY doing to engage with you more I would ask.My dear freind @chris_hall1 wrote a list of the 20 people he wanted to meet this year in January and, sadly, he got more replies from people upset that they were not on it.FFS people – I LOVE Twitter but anyone who worries what lists they are on needs to put Twitter down and take a really, really long walk in the real world.

  3. I haven’t used lists yet. Not really encouraged to here. It strikes me that I’d rather learn to recognise people. ‘Little boxes, all made out of ticky-tacky’? Viva different opinions!

  4. I did wonder why your list kept appearing then disappearing in my lists. I thought you sat there and added/removed people manually. But i didn’t get upset when you removed me (bast**t) haha. Truthfully though, i’ve created loads of lists and never really use them that much. I dip in ocassionally but more often than not prefer to just check my timeline to see what people are up to.Strangely though i’ve been listed under a ‘cake-lovers’ list by someone who has never tweeted me once! Weird. I wish it was easier to de-list yourself from some lists.I like lists and mine are pretty self-explanatory: faves, arty stuff, people i’ve met. It would be rude to create one with my top 10 favourite & best tweeters but i might just be inspired to now after this. People get too sensitive about followers and listings. Get a grip, it doesn’t matter. One pet hate is when people tweet about losing followers, get over it. It happens. Big deal. It just means that you are no longer interesting to those people. Indeed check your ego at the log in page. Whilst we are on the subject other pet hates are auto-DM’s and tweets to ‘welcome new followers..’ like they are some sort of REALLY important person. You are no more important than my next follow so shut up. *rant over*.Also i’m now gonna create a ‘people i want to meet’ list. Hahahaaa…

  5. Ah so that’s what Conversationalist is all about… I did wonder as I seem to appear on a lot of duplicate lists. For me, I prefer the personal touch – all my lists are handcrafted.I also follow hashtag columns in Tweetdeck for iPhone (#bbcqt, #Marr, #ccevents). I find Lists handy, especially for work – For @whizzkidz I’ve identified (and listed) ‘families we’ve helped’, ‘fundraisers and volunteers’, ‘MP pals’ and so on – it’s *really* handy to just listen to what your supporters are saying from time to time; and they can get lost in the main feed. Cheers for sharing, Ross.

  6. I do like Blogs when a heated debate breaks out . . .

  7. Mark: The person in question definitely isn’t an ego-maniac but I’m fairly sure my use of Conversationlist has made a few people think I’m fleeting with my interactions on twitter. It’s amazing Chris’s list, which was ultimately a really nice thing to do, was somehow turned in to a negative issue by the people not on the list! Gary: Lists can be a good way to get to know new people. You might want to have a peek at this blog post from a few months back – Go for it, create a list of your favourite people on twitter. Just make sure I’m on it or I’ll be cross ;0)Rob: It’s ‘handcrafted’ all the way from now on!I wonder if someone from Conversationalist has had a peek at this discussion. Be interesting to hear their thoughts on it.

  8. I’ll be blunt.Conversationalist is bullshit.Twitter makers were all like "AMAHGAD! Facebook be more ‘social’ than us! Remember when bebo’s did luvs? We need something shit like that". It is nonsense. If I talk to someone lots, I will probably be consciously aware I talk to them lots. I am not so fucking backwards that need twitter to go "you speak to the people on this list". Do I? Do I twitter? Gee thanks.Lists themselves piss me off. I made some because I hated the box telling me too constantly but I never check them. After following someone a while I can judge if they have anything of interest to say. But twitter, at least give me the dignity of making my own lists.Spotify are doing something similar with their stupid new social shit. "top artists" feature rarely shows who you actually listen to. It can churn out some right tripe.I wish social networking sites would just go "here is things, you can use them if you like" instead of "you are here! amazing! *shovel our site down your throat and dictate how to use it*".Rawr. Conversationalist is just so patronising it makes my head burst.THEN TO MAKE IT WORSE people are now taking hissy fits when they are not on clique lists? These people should not be allowed to breed.