That’s me! I like to find tools to automate many of the personal processes that I use to stay connected and communicating. Then, I just go ahead and use them. It’s kind of embarrassing, but I just rely on them and quite frankly, forget about them.
That is, until someone like my friend Martin Goldberg comes along.
Geez, I don’t know, Martin. It’s something that I set a while ago. It’s just a standing column that I have in my Seesmic Desktop that lets me track certain users.
I actually have four columns that I keep open regularly and then a bunch more that I open up as I need them. The lists I have are:
Ontario Educators – I created the list and maintain it whenever I find someone new who is tweeting in the province;
Keynotes – anytime I’ve heard a keynote speaker, I get their Twitter ID and add them to this column to follow their recent thoughts.
and then I have these other two…
Until Martin asked, I had forgotten where they came from. That’s actually quite bad. If you’re configuring things on the internet, you should remember where they come from. My bad.
So, I did some research my way and tracked it back to the Formulists service. I think it’s works very nicely if you want a list to follow but you’re too lazy to create your own! Or, you’re looking for a little serendipity. Creating a list is pretty simple. You log in with your Twitter ID and then decide what sort of goals that you’d like in a list. Then provide the details to Formulists and it creates that list for you and adds it to your account. For the free account, you can create up to 20 lists. For a hobbyist, that’s probably a great deal to manage. I find that the two that I’ve created by myself and the two that Formulists creates for me gives me loads to read and follow.
There are a few things to consider though…first of all with the new Twitter activity option or the activities generated by third party services, people can see when they’ve been added or removed from a list. Adding generally isn’t a problem but some people can be offended if they’re removed. Hopefully, they’ll realize that it’s automated and out of your control. Secondly, keep in mind that you log in to the service with your Twitter ID. That means that you’re granting rights for this service to do things with your account. Just like Seesmic Desktop, it’s a facility that I’m happy to allow. But, if you’re keeping track of permissions that you’ve allowed, just remember that. If you ever stop using the service, you should go back and revoke access to it. Thirdly, and most importantly, a list filters the big firehose into several lawn sprinklers to filter the types of conversations. Without a doubt, it’s been the greatest single productivity move that I’ve taken.
So, why don’t you log in and create your own list of super-sidekicks or any of the tonnes of other options? You just might be surprised with whom you’re paired to take on the world with!