It Appears We Seem To Be Listing (by Jen Wagner

Lists – some people love them. Some people hate them. And honestly, some people just don’t care.

Some people live by them. Some people create them and then ignore them.

The one thing you can say about lists is that most everyone has an opinion about them.

Frankly, I am not a huge admirer of “who’s who” LISTS – especially when they are created mostly to draw attention back to the creator rather than to the list. (For example the sites that list 10 best blogposts, Top 25 EdTechLeaders, etc etc……to me, most often they seem to be created to say look at the lister rather than the list)

So when the twitter list option came out, I thought – “oh, an opportunity” and I also thought “oh no”. Tweetdeck has the opportunity to create lists — but as far as I know, I believe your list is for your tweet experience — not one that is shared. Twitters lists will be different because now they can be shared, viewed, and (as in this case) critiqued.

And so it began.

Within 24 hours I found myself on placed 20 lists…….

What is intriguing to me is that within just a small amount of time the lists (well, the lists which I have seen thus far) are becoming the “A-lists” and also “who can make the first list.” And you have to stop and wonder “why”.

Because what I also see is duplication of some things that really do not need to be duplicated.

For example, I have seen 4 different Google Teacher Academy lists. Hmmmm – okay, perhaps they are by GTA sessions?? Ahhh, nope. Hmmmm – perhaps they are by GTA years? Ahhh – nope. Pretty much they are GTA members created by a GTA member. And though it is nice to have a list. Do we really need 4?? or more.

Then checking a bit more – I saw educators that were on 40, 50, 100, 150+ lists — and again, I thought “why”.

Finally, you look at bit more – you might see the lists have titles such as ProTech, RockStars, TechEds2Watch, TopBloggers, etc etc etc. And I cringe. Because lists are now becoming labels. Labels lead to distinctions. And distinctions can then easily become “the elite”.

And perhaps I am making much more out of this than needs to be — but just step back and watch the list phenomenon over the last weekend and then please come back and share your thoughts.

For me, right now, the list that is the MOST important to me, the list I am most proud of being mentioned on is That Karen labels me as a friend is much more important to me than being labeled all the other labels I have been given by lists this past weekend.

In no way do I wish to standardize lists – or put RULES on how to make lists – but I would like to ask 2 things.

1. When you make a list, who are you calling attention to? Your list or the people on your list? And why the people on your list? What label, distinction, ranking have you now given them — and why not to others?
2. Have you checked to see if your list might have already been created by someone else? And if so, perhaps ask to join that list and promote that list rather than creating a new list?

I don’t expect you to agree with me on my thoughts – and I invite you to share your thoughts.

Are you using Twitter lists?
How are you creating Twitter lists?
And what do you think of Twitter lists?

I would enjoy your thoughts.


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