March 24, 2015

Using Twitter Lists

Faces / Pixabay / CC0

Why do I use Twitter lists?

Twitter ( is a great tool for professional development. It leads me to educators who are passionate about helping others learn. It lets me know when good teaching and learning ideas are available to examine.

The flow of information from Twitter is sometimes referred to as a firehose... with good reason. After you have used Twitter for a while the list of folks that you follow grows. And the number of tweets from them becomes quite large. I found that I was missing the tweets of some of the creative leaders from whom I have learned so much in the past due to the large number of tweets flowing through my firehose... that is, my timeline.

I was a bit familiar with Twitter lists and thought that extending my use of them would help. I was right.

What is a Twitter list?

Twitter defines a list as a "curated group of Twitter users." So, if I follow 100 folks on Twitter and 60 of them are creative, passionate educators, then I can group those 60 together in one Twitter list.

How does grouping these accounts together in a single list help? I can choose to view the tweets from this select group of educators without being distracted by tweets from other accounts. I am less likely to miss ideas from folks whose ideas are so very helpful and useful as I work with students and with other educators.

Tweet / Pixabay / CC0

What actions are available for working with lists?

I can create lists (or delete them), add or remove individuals from my lists, subscribe to lists others have created. My lists can be public or private. I can share a list with others via Twitter (or my website or blog).

I can send tweets to individuals on a list, but not to the entire list at once. I can add Twitter users to a Twitter list even if I do not follow them individually. If I want to follow some accounts for information only—perhaps about a one-time event or news story—I can just add them to a list rather than follow them.

Group / Pixabay / CC0

How can Twitter lists help?

For me, the most important thing that lists do is make it possible for me to view more of my tweets. I'm not missing as many as I did previously. After all, the easiest way to complete a big job myself is to break it down into a series of small jobs. (How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.) That's what lists do for me.

What lists might help you? Some lists you could consider are...
  • your team or department or grade level or school
  • conferences attendees
  • Twitter chat participants
  • folks with whom you have common interests
  • resources for other teachers or your students or parents
  • individuals you recommend that others follow
  • "notice me" list... folks with whom you want to develop a working relationship
  • thought leaders in education or other fields in which you have an interest
  • folks you would like to recognize
  • your affiliations
  • friends and family
  • news... general or specific

Learn / Pixabay / CC0

How do I...?

Create a list... 
Go to your profile page > Lists > Create new list > name the list (max of 25 characters) > provide a description (max of 100 characters) > choose private (for your eyes only) or public (anyone can subscribe) > save list

Add or remove individuals from a list...
Go to the user's profile > gear icon > add or remove from lists (don't have to also follow) > check or uncheck lists to add or remove

Determine if an individual is on a specific list...
Go to your profile page > Lists > click the list you are interested in > click Members to determine if the person is in that list

Determine if I am on a specific list...
Go to your profile page > Lists > click on Member of

Share a list with someone...
Go to that list > copy the URL in your browser's address field > paste the URL in a message to the person with whom you would like to share the list

View tweets from a list...
Go to your profile page > Lists > click on the list

Edit or delete lists...
Go to your profile page > Lists > select the list your want to edit or delete > edit or delete

Subscribe to (follow) someone else's list...
Go to that member's profile > Lists > select list > click Subscribe

See who subscribes to my Twitter lists...
Visit the list > click "List Subscribers"

See what lists I am a member of...
Go to your profile page > Lists > Member of

Why was I added to a Twitter spam list? 
Twitter now allows more members per list and more lists per members, so spammers are trying to use that to their advantage

Do you have other questions?

Go to I'm Having Trouble with Lists at

Are you ready to try some advanced suggestions?

• Use a software tool to help you manage your Twitter lists:
• Use a software tool to help you view the tweets from your listsI use TweetDeck (
Include yourself in lists you create (so folks viewing your list include you in that category)... see Twitter Lists - How to Add Yourself to a List You Created
• Follow up with direct messages (thank you or a link to your website) when you're added to someone else's list
• Upload your Twitter list to Flipboard ( a visual way to see content from your list members


What resources did I use for this post?

Twitter's Help Center...

Using Twitter Lists

Create and Use Twitter Lists

Get Organized: How to Create and Use Twitter Lists,2817,2459110,00.asp

23 Seldom-Used Ideas for How to Use Twitter Lists
Outstanding article!

Twitter Lists are the New "Follow"

Twitter Lists - How to Add Yourself to a List You Created
Why You Were Added to Twitter Spam Lists

How To: Remove Yourself From Stupid Twitter Lists

Nine Tools for Journalists to Cut Twitter List Creation and Management Time 

Reviews of third-party tools to use with Twitter, including Twitter lists

How to Use Twitter Lists Like a Pro

How to Use Twitter Lists for Business

5 Great Ideas to Unleash Business Benefits from Twitter Lists

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