Advanced Twitter for Copyeditors, Part 2b: Tame the Tweets
In the first part of this tweet-taming article, we looked at how to filter Twitter in general and your stream in particular. Now to the good stuff—organizing all of that glorious information.
I can’t overstate how much more pleasant and useful my Twitter experience became after I discovered Twitter lists. Each Twitter user can have up to 20 lists (lists can be private or public) and each list can have up to 500 people on it. You can also subscribe to other users’ public lists.
A few examples: My “Copyeditors-n-Wordniks” list includes around 500 copyeditors, proofreaders, grammarians, writers, wordies, journalists, linguists, their associations, resources, and more. When I hit the 500-member cap, I moved some of the least active members to a private list to make room for new members. Eventually, I’ll have two similar lists or I’ll organize the group into more specific lists. This is a more complicated system than listing requires, but I use this as my go-to Twitter stream. I check my Copyeditors-n-Wordniks list before any of my other lists and I usually consider it, rather than the stream that includes all of the users I follow, as my Twitter “home.” I also subscribe to and regularly check out the Editorial Freelancers Association’s “EFA Members” list, which includes about a hundred Tweeting members. The American Copy Editors Society has a list called “ACES2013” with 126 Twitter users who attended the national conference last month in St. Louis. I subscribed to that list before the conference and I check it occasionally still.
Many Twitter clients allow you to view and organize your Twitter information in multiple columns, which I prefer to the native, single-column Twitter layout. Instead of navigating back and forth between pages (or tabs), you can create a one-page, multiple-column display (sometimes called a dashboard) that includes your interactions (@ replies to you), direct messages, tweet stream or lists, and keyword or hashtag searches. Using columns to put your higher priority lists first and your other lists to the side is another great way to tame your Twitter experience.