Over the last 7 days, you may have found that as you continue to use Twitter, you come across more and more interesting people to follow, and your following also grows exponentially. Keeping track of them all can be a challenge, and sometimes you will want to focus on certain groups of them over others, or check in on some people only sporadically. This is hard to do in the undifferentiated stream of tweets on your Twitter feed, where they are all mixed in together. Fortunately, there are ways to split up your Twitter stream and group the people you follow into separate streams, so you can keep an eye on their tweets as it suits you.
You might want to group the people you follow into any of the types that we looked at in Day Three. Some examples might be:
- Colleagues or services at your institution
- Colleagues and peers across the country/world in a particular field
- Professional or funding bodies
- News accounts
- Social, personal or fun accounts
Twitter has a feature which allows you to make lists of people – and you need not follow all of them to add them to a list. These lists can be private, so only you can see them, or they might be public so you can share them with others. We created such a list for the participants of this course on Day 2 (#LivUni10DoT List), so you could find each other on Day 3 – from his page you can view the stream of tweets or even look at the users that have been added to that list.
You might create such a list for the benefit of others, for example, to bring together the attendees at a workshop or conference, or the top accounts on a particular topic which you recommend other people should follow. You can share a list by giving people the URL of the list page, or let them view the lists you’ve created on your profile, where they can subscribe to your lists too. You could, for example, foster an online community or resource-sharing stream by creating a list of student tweeters on a programme or module.
To create a list on Twitter
To create a list on Twitter, go to your profile icon at the top right of the page (beside the Tweet button). Select ‘Lists’, and you will see a page which will contain any lists you will make. Click on ‘Create list’, and you will be asked to name your new list and add a brief description. This description will be very helpful if you now choose to make the list public, so others can find and subscribe to it.
You will now be invited to search for people to add to your list. You can also add them later, by clicking on their @handle and going to their profile.
Next to the ‘Follow(ing)’ button, you will see the Settings icon (looks like a cog or gear). If you click on this, you will see a menu containing the option ‘add or remove from lists’ (this is also where you can send them private Direct Messages, as in Day 4). While we’re on the topic of managing people, you can also block or report people using this menu, for example, if you are followed by a spam account or someone you don’t want following you.
To view tweets from your lists, you can simply go to your Twitter profile page and click on ‘lists’ from the toolbar above your tweets.
To subscribe to/follow other people’s lists:
You can benefit from other people’s connections and effort by subscribing to lists they have created. You can even follow lists without following the individual users in that list.
- Click on Lists when viewing someone’s profile (for example, @LivUni)
- Decide which list you’d like to subscribe to and click on the title.
- From the list page, click Subscribe (upper left) to follow the list.
We mentioned Tweetchats on Day 7′s post. Hopefully you will have had a chance to find and follow a chat by now. If not, now is your chance! I’m one of the founding members of #LTHEchat (Learning and Teaching in Higher Education chat): a weekly Twitter chat where anyone interested in higher education can share practices/ideas, or just connect with other practitioners. Each week’s chat takes place on Wednesday (8-9pm GMT) using the hashtag #LTHEchat, and focuses on a specific aspect of learning and teaching in HE – tonight it is ‘Effective Engagement in Learning’ with guest Dr Rashid Ali (@58r) from Sheffield Hallam University. The topic is also communicated via the LTHEchat site, or on Twitter via the @LTHEchat and the hashtag #LTHEchat. You can see an archive of past conversations on the #LTHEchat Storify. Storify is a service allowing you to curate content shared on other social media platforms, e.g. Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, to create themed timelines, or ‘stories’. I will also create network diagrams based on the chats to visualise activity amongst participants.
Think about the kinds of updates you’ve seen on Twitter so far from the people you follow. Who do you most want to see tweets from? Try making a list of your colleagues on Twitter, or perhaps one for the professional and funding bodies you follow. Share a link to your list by tweeting it or posting it in the comments section below.
As today is Wednesday, we recommend you getting involved in this evening’s #LTHEchat on ‘Effective Engagement in Learning’ with guest Dr Rashid Ali (@58r). To do this:
- ‘Follow’ @LTHEchat on Twitter
- Search for #LTHEchat on Twitter to monitor the conversation so far (Note, all tweets with the hashtag – including tweets from older chats – can be returned in these results, so check the date/time of the tweets for the most recent ones!)
- Join the conversation by tweeting your own thoughts with the #LTHEchat hashtag and/or replying to another participant’s #LTHEchat tweet.
- Twitter: Using Twitter Lists
- BufferSocial, Kevan Lee (October, 2014): 23 seldom used ideas for how to use Twitter lists (The industry/advertiser focused ideas are obviously less relevant)