How I Use Twitter Lists

I’m a pretty heavy user of Twitter Lists. Twitter Lists are a great way to filter your Twitter stream, especially when you’re following a large number of accounts. And you don’t need to follow the accounts that are in the list, so this is a good way to get past the 2,000 following limit if you’re up against that. You can create your own lists or follow lists that were created by other people. Here are some examples of Twitter lists that I’ve created.

Lists can be public (shared) or you can create private lists that only you can see. I’ve created private lists for close friends & family and a “My Favorites” list containing the twenty or so accounts that I don’t want to miss.
Twitter lists look good on but I usually read them on my iPhone using Tweetbot or on my iPad using Tweetdeck or the fantastic Flipboard app.

This is how Twitter lists look on Tweetdeck. It’s really easy to see several lists at the same time.

This is how a Twitter list looks on Flipboard. To add a Twitter List to Flipboard, tap More… on the upper right, then go to Social > Twitter > Your Lists.

I like using Tweetbot on my iPhone to view Twitter lists because you can quickly switch between lists by tapping in the title bar area. That brings up a list of all of your Twitter lists.

You can see all of my Twitter lists here.

Do you have a favorite Twitter list? Leave a link in the comments.

The Twitter Quitters Story – Not All Bad News?

There’s a lot  of discussion out there about a recent Nielsen report stating that 60% of new Twitter users stop using the service after one month.  60% is a big number but I find it interesting that the number has actually improved recently.  From the report:

Currently, more than 60 percent of Twitter users fail to return the following month, or in other words, Twitter’s audience retention rate, or the percentage of a given month’s users who come back the following month, is currently about 40 percent. For most of the past 12 months, pre-Oprah, Twitter has languished below 30 percent retention.

First of all, I don’t think that a single event like Oprah joining Twitter should be singled out as the reason for a 10% improvement (30% to 40%) in user retention.  I actually think that the improvement is due to the much criticized suggested users list that Twitter introduced several months ago.  Before the suggested users list was introduced, new users started with a blank slate – Following 0 and 0 Followers.  Twitter has always provided a way for people to locate friends by email address (similar to Facebook) but for the non-tech crowd, this might only result in a few matches and there is no guarantee that those people are active on Twitter.  And while there are some pretty good third-party Twitter directories out there, most new users don’t have a clue where to find those.  As a result, many new Twitter users log on to their account and see just a few updates a day from a handful of people.  When they compare this to other social networking sites like Facebook, this makes Twitter look useless and they stop using it.  Twitter’s suggested users list certainly isn’t perfect, but at least it gives new users some content to look at versus a blank page.

Measuring the Scoble Effect Using

Earlier tonight, I tweeted about the Ellen Show reaching 500 thousand followers on Twitter in just three weeks.

A few minutes later, Robert Scoble liked the tweet on FriendFeed.  Robert routes his FriendFeed over to Twitter, so it quickly showed up on Robert’s Twitter feed…

When I tweet a link, it usually only gets about 20-25 clicks but, in this case, the clicks went through the roof according to  As soon as Robert liked that tweet, the link that I posted got over 900 clicks in about 6 minutes.

A few thoughts on this:

  • A simple Like or Retweet from an A-Lister like Robert can drive significant traffic.  This is hard proof that, with the right exposure, traffic from Twitter can achieve something similar to the Digg Effect.
  • The Twitter Effect can be very short lived.  In this case, my tweet didn’t get many other retweets, so the number of clicks quickly went down after about 10 minutes.
  • provides great analytics for measuring stuff like this.  Is it useful enough to justify the recent $2 million round of funding?  I guess we’ll see.

Mark the Date – Twitter Is Running Real Ads Now

Last week, Twitter started to run house ads on the Twitter home page. Now it appears that they’re running real revenue-generating ads.  Just a few minutes ago I saw a text ad for Tweetie, which is a very popular Twitter app for the iPhone.  They’re also running ads for Twittervision and the recently launched ExecTweets.

It’ll be interesting to see how quickly they ramp this up over the next few weeks.


San Francisco Based Twitter Accounts (response to @ev)

Earlier tonight, Twitter CEO Ev Williams posted this tweet:

If you know of San Francisco businesses or other SF-related Twitter accts, lemme know. Preparing slides for @gavinnewsom‘s visit tomorrow.

Of course, the responses came flooding in.

Here’s a round-up of the responses.  This includes both Twitter accounts related to San Francisco and companies based in San Francisco.

  • @21stAmendmentCraft Beer Brewery Restaurant delving into the world of canned craft beer
  • @7x7Magazine7×7 is San Francisco’s premier resource for Food, Fashion, Culture, Music, Nightlife, Parties and more. Go to 7× to get to know San Francisco
  • @7x7Radar7×7 Magazine’s Radar on SF Culture, Art, Entertainment and Events
  • @ABC7NewsBayAreaNews and notes directly from the ABC7 newsroom in San Francisco
  • @AgentNanoBreaking News, Traffic, Transit and Weather alerts for the San Francisco Bay Area/All the news that’s fit to Tweet
  • @AsianArtMuseumWe’re the largest museum in the western world devoted exclusively to Asian art
  • @BayAreaBitesBay Area Bites is KQED Public Media’s food blog
  • @BooksmithSan Francisco’s leading independent bookstore
  • @CaltrainCaltrain service delays provided by riders. See URL for instructions to update
  • @ChronicleBooksAn independent publisher of distinctive books and gifts
  • @Coco_luxeCoco-luxe Confections: luxurious truffles, salted caramels & sweets – To Share, or Not!
  • @CSNBayAreaCSN Bay Area and CSN California. Home of the Giants, A’s, Warriors, Sharks, Kings, Cal and Stanford
  • @CurrentTweets from within the walls of HQ
  • @Disqus
  • @DropBox
  • @Emergency_In_SFFollow some of the larger emergencies in San Francisco as they happen
  • @ExploratoriumFor the curious ones, the Exploratorium is a museum of science, art, and human perception
  • @FrogDesignGlobal innovation firm that helps create and bring to market meaningful products, services, and experiences
  • @GetSatisfactionThe support network for people to get the most from the products they use.
  • @GhiradelliSQMore than just the best chocolate! Wine tasting, great food and fun shopping
  • @GoldenGateParkUp-To-Date Events & News on Golden Gate Park
  • @JDVHotels Joie de Vivre is California’s largest boutique hotel collection, with over 30 hotels, restaurants and spas throughout the state
  • @JugShopSpecialists in Australia, NZ & Italian wines, specialty spirits, craft beer
  • @KCBSNewsAll News All the Time
  • @KGORadioThe Bay Area’s most listened to radio station for over 30 years
  • @kqed_artsKQED Arts is a daily blog covering the San Francisco Bay Area
  • @Live105LIVE 105.3 KITS San Francisco
  • @MagnoliaPub – Haight and Masonic
  • @missionpieA corner café, bakery, and neighborhood gathering place in the Mission that brings the flavors of local farms into the city and tells their stories.
  • @MuniDiaries – a place to share and read rider tales
  • @SanFranSymphony – San Francisco Symphony & Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas sets the highest standard of excellence in orchestral performance in over 250 concerts a year
  • @Seesmic
  • @SFRestaurantsWhere do want to eat Tonight? Ask Dave….
  • @sf_49ersOfficial Twitter of the San Francisco 49ers
  • @sf_giantsOfficial Twitter of the San Francisco Giants
  • @SF_WeeklyThe latest from as told by web editor Janine Kahn
  • @SFStateCreativeArtsMedia, Performing, Visual Arts at San Francisco State University
  • @sfbcPromoting the bicycle for everyday transportation
  • @sfearthquakesThe SF Bay Area sometimes shakes. I tell you about it
  • @SFistEverything else you to know about SF & the Bay Area, news, arts, entertainment, politics, gossip, more
  • @sfstation – SF Station is San Francisco Bay Area’s definitive online city guide to Arts & Culture, Entertainment, Food, Shopping, and Urban Living
  • @sfzoo – The mission of the San Francisco Zoo is to connect people with wildlife, inspire caring for nature and advance conservation action (my pick)
  • @spotusWe support journalists in the Bay Area through community funded reporting
  • @TCHOchocolateTCHO makes obsessively good dark chocolate from pod to palate in our San Francisco factory
  • @TechnoratiWho’s saying what. Right now.
  • @TripItTripIt is a personal travel assistant that automatically organizes all your travel plans
  • @XobniXobni is a toolbar for Outlook
  • @WoodenBoatHistoric wooden boatyard & nonprofit maritime museum on San Francisco Bay. Rod Bauer, Webmaster (schooner, sailboat, rowboat, woodworking, sailing)
  • @Zeum – Zeum is San Francisco’s hands-on, multimedia arts and tech museum for kids.

And a few people posted links to existing lists of SF-based Twitter accounts:

And here’s Ev’s reaction to the response…

Know of other good San Francisco based Twitter accounts?  Feel free to leave a comment.

Here’s video of the meeting between Mayor Newsom and Biz and Ev from Twitter.