Twitter strokes egos with a new A-List popularity contest

Are you on any Twitter lists? Have you had your ego stroked by seeing the number of Twitter lists you are on climbing?

What the hell are Twitter lists you ask. Well my obviously social media deficient friend these lists are the new digerati’s A-List. It is how you are now going to be able to measure your worth in the world from this day forth. Yes sir you can now measure your value by how many lists you have been lucky enough to find yourself on.

Still not clear what all the fuss is about, well you see there is this social media juggernaut called Twitter and everyone who is everybody is climbing on board this bandwagon of warm and fuzzy collect as many followers as you can – or in the case of Stephen Fry getting off at the next stop. During the early heydays (last week) the principal way you could get any bragging rights about how well you were doing on Twitter was to con get as many people to follow you as possible.

This of course leads to the usual gold rush of spammers, marketers and PR firms doing everything they could to get themselves, or their clients they were ghosting for, to get as many followers as possible. After all this was the new world of touchy feely conversations with everyone in the world who cared about you.

However any value that you might have for your followers over the next person was short lived so Twitter came up with an idea. Lists. Yes we’ll let you all be able to create separate lists for all the different areas of interest and add people to those lists. Sound like a great idea huh?

Well according to much of the mucky mucks in the social media world this really is the best things since sliced bread and bacon. It’s got people like Robert Scoble smacking down on Google Reader and proclaiming to all who will listen that there is nothing better in the world than Twitter Lists (at least until next week).

It is, as Todd Zeigler at The Bivings Report says: the new endorsement. So the higher number of lists you are on the more value you have in the brave new world of social media.

People follow folks for lots of reasons. Out of courtesy. Because they like their avatar. To get them to follow them back. Adding someone to a list is more of an endorsement – you are saying this person is someone worth listening to. While I’m sure people will now work to game their “lists” number, in the short term I think it provides a really interesting insight into how respected Twitter users are.

Short term is right if the popularity of sites that have sprung up to take advantage of this new feature of ego stroking from Twitter are any example. From sites that are basically outsourcing their list creation to more curated types like Listorious it is apparent that Twitter Lists are the new ranking.

Interestingly enough some of the early push back to the lists is coming in from people who you might not think of right off the bat. One of the first to speak about how these lists might not be all they are cracked up be is Chris Brogan who wrote this today:

In talking with friends about it on Twitter, people immediately started DM-ing me, telling me that they felt left out or even LESS important because they weren’t on any lists. Lists are exclusionary by nature. They’re static. There’s a lot of reasons why they might not be all that pleasant for people.

Whether or not we get over being left out of other peoples lists doesn’t change the fact that Twitter Lists will become the new ranking system in Social Media. They will be the new measure of worth to a lot of people and you can be damn sure that even now there a lot of people, marketers, spammers and PR firms who are trying to figure out just how they can use this new TwitterRank to their benefit.

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