twitter lists and why I’m not playing

The nonconformist in me hates lists for the simple reason that everyone else is ga ga over them. ditto for google wave.

But for lists there’s a bigger reason, and Chris Brogan hits the nail on the head, They’re exclusionary. They’re the new “hottest kid in school” list posted in the locker bay. Those on it feel more self important, and those not on it, feel like less than people, and in the end, they’re completely meaningless and 100% arbitrary.

There’s few things I hate more than internet popularity contests.

Lists aren’t opt in or opt out, they’re not merit based, or anything like that. They’re lists of people that some one else thinks are worth listing. You must ask to be on the list, you must be “approved”, and if the list maker decides you’re not worthy, that’s that.

Lists are are for clique making. “Hey I’m on 30 lists” as if that somehow indicates importance. I see the number of lists a person is on, being the new “follower count”, a metric few care about, and most deride as a sign of being some sort of twitter spammer, or twitter whore.

Will it become the same bad juju if you’re on 50 lists, and have made none?

Of all the things twitter could of released, it’s sad they chose lists. They’ve already got their “most influential user” list or whatever. I’d rather see twitter add more useful features than popularity contests. To name a few. Polls, photo/video/audio (sorry third parties), maybe a suggestion system like Netflix? “You should look at these guys, because they’re similar to this guy that you follow.” That’d be WAY more valuable than “Here’s my bestest friends, who are cooler than you, but you should follow” list, by someone whom I’m not sure I care about their opinion on such things.

Sorry list makers, and list whores. I won’t be making lists, nor will I care if I’m on yours. There’s more important things out there.

By John Wilker

I'm a science fiction writer and conference organizer. In 2017 I published my first book, 'Space Rogues', a fun Sci-Fi adventure with a fun cast of characters. I'm also the co-founder of 360|Conferences, a conference and event logistics consulting company.

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