Saturday, November 5, 2011

List management on Twitter

Twitter gave us the ability to construct up to 20 lists of up to 500 members each. But it gave us no tools with which to view, update, prune, or otherwise manage, these lists, so that our lists get out of date rapidly. (Believe it or not, there's no way on Twitter to remove someone from the list if their account has been suspended or cancelled. And if you've unfollowed someone, or they've unfollowed you, they are still on your lists, which may or may not be your intention.)

Since Twitter leaves us in the lurch with these unwieldy lists, there should be internet applications and/or desktop applications which give us the ability to:

1. view each list in its entirety on a single page, including member's account name and avatar;

2. sort and/or filter by different variables, including (a) date of last tweet, (b) name, (c) date listed, (d) whether following you, and (e) whether followed by you; and

3. go down the list, select members by check boxes, and then (a) remove selected members and (b) move and copy selected members to another list.

I'm aware of no tools that do the above, and would appreciate your telling me, through the comment section, of any which may exist. I will update this post as new information, on software which appears workable, comes to my attention.

[My advice to the twitter API developers out there would be to concentrate, if feasible, on desktop applications which can save and store data on the user's hard drive, so that "API" calls would not have to be drawn upon except to upload the updates.]

These are the only list management tools I know of:

Refollow This follower management tool has added some list management functionality. You can pick out one of your twitter lists, load the entire list, review the list members seeing their icon, last tweet, and certain other information, remove list members in bulk, and add designated list members in bulk to another list or a new list. Indirectly it gives you the ability to move list members from one list to another, since you can add them to another list and then remove them from the list you're working with. What is more, you can filter the list members by certain variables -- e.g. find all members of a list who haven't tweeted at all in 90 days, all who have no icon, who you're not following, who's not following you, etc. Internet application. Has sortable lists and 'select' buttons for bulk operations on a list. These guys really "get" it, about what's needed to manage lists. h/t Liss (@lissnup)

Tweetfind's Twitter Lists Tool. This tool lets you view the membership of a list, in a serviceable manner, and provides checkboxes. So it's a start. However the only thing you can do with the checkboxes is to add the people to a list, which is the least useful function, since (a) they're already on a list, and (b) adding people to lists is the one thing twitter does enable us to do without too much trouble. And the view populates somewhat slowly, and does not show all the list members on a single page. The developers at Tweetfind seem to be pretty cool and responsive. It will be interesting to see if they can (a) improve the view (b) add functions to be invoked by the checkboxes such as remove, copy, transfer and (c) provide sorting and/or filtering. They're adding a "remove from this list" button, which is helpful, and you can tell -- from the presence of a "follow" or "unfollow" box -- whether each list member is or is not being followed by you, which is also quite helpful.

Tweetdeck. Multipurpose desktop twitter portal application. Enables you to "edit" a list, removing list members one by one, or to add non members one by one. It doesn't sort the lists, but does sort the non-list members alphabetically.

Listomatic. An internet application, its "manage" function assembles lists, collects members to be viewed from 20 to 100 at a time, allows easy removal from a list by double clicking the icon, on hover signals the following status of each list member. Does not have sorting. Slow to load. [a word of warning: if while using this you want to look at someone's profile on, when you come back you may have to wait for screen to repopulate to 100 members; best workaround --> try to open "in a new tab"] h/t Liss (@lissnup on Twitter)

Listorious. Internet application which does one thing brilliantly, and does nothing else: it provides a great view of the list on a single page, sorted by the number of followers each has. It shows the icon + the bio of each peep. It provides no ability to sort by any other variable, or to perform any operation at all. Caveat: it seems that Listorious updates the lists very very slowly, if at all. So if you make changes in your twitter list, I don't know how long it will take to get updated at Listorious. [update, Listorious seems to be going out of business; there seems to be little going on there] Website which enables you to check, on a one-by-one basis, whether a particular person is on a particular list.

mixero. A desktop application which provides some list management ability, such as the ability to remove people from lists. You need to go to the field for 'adding contacts' in order to delete contacts. It automatically sorts the list members alphabetically, so that's a plus.

formulists. Web site which falsely bills itself as being for "list management", but is really just for creating new lists. It doesn't help you manage your existing lists. I don't need a tool to help me create new lists.

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