Lists and social order

I started using lists on Twitter back in 2010 for the purpose of — surprise, surprise — a class assignment. Now, again for a class assignment, I’m looking back at these lists and they really needed some TLC. Getting my lists back in organizational tip-top shape gave me a chance to reevaluate all the organizations, companies and individuals I follow. More importantly, it allowed me to delete lists that no longer fall within my interests and create or expand on lists that fit my interests now.

The new lists I added were Laramie Community (for all things related to my town), Memphis (connection to professors and students at U of M), and Digital Storytelling (networking for my topic). I also added more to my Journalism, Nonprofits, and Books lists.

I started a Laramie Community list not to actually keep track of what’s going on in my community, although it may prove useful for that as well. Instead, I started this list to analyze how other organizations are using Twitter in hopes of gaining ideas to increase followers and engagement on my public library’s Twitter. Twitter is not highly popular in Wyoming and while it is more popular in Laramie because it is a college town, it is still difficult to find followers that 1) have a Twitter and 2) are interested in the library. While the networking opportunity with news outlets and other nonprofits is a plus, Laramie is still a small enough town where I know and can contact these people personally, without needing an in on Twitter.

My Memphis list is similar to my SIWJ list, which stands for Semester in Washington Journalism. It was an internship program I attended at The George Washington University. My SIWJ list is great because it allows me to keep up with what the other members of my program are doing, whether its teaching at a university, working at a news station or becoming an entrepreneur. Hopefully, as I build the Memphis list, these same sort of lasting connections will develop.

The Digital Storytelling list has already been helpful to my thesis research. While some of the tweets are just advertisements for upcoming digital storytelling conferences or webinars, there is good material as well. Many of the tweets point me towards new digital stories to watch or listen to, and several of the organizations show the vast reach of digital storytelling by relating it to nearly everything, from the Super Bowl to a church sermon. This list also has some great quotes that have given me ideas on how to add something to my thesis such as this tweet from Emotive Storytelling: “A good story isn’t about longevity. It’s about relevance. Relevant stories have longevity. Make yours count.” In addition, I’ve discovered the blog PR in Your Pajamas thanks to this list. I’ve started to retweet and favorite several things I found noteworthy.

One of my favorite lists is Books because I find it incredibly entertaining to follow some of my favorite authors and libraries, but I work in a library so what do you expect? I’ve  never done more than follow these authors, including my favorite Sarah Dessan. So for a challenge I’m going to attempt over the semester to interact with her in some way (more retweets, a reply, a direct message). This is a challenge because I have a friend who consistently tries to get retweeted by this author with no success to date. Sarah Dessan is very popular and consistently tweets to her followers and has been known to retweet some of their posts before. Below is a compilation of my friend’s tweets involving Sarah Dessan (i.e. the topics I will be avoiding when attempting to get interaction):

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