It has only be a few days since the roll out of the Twitter Lists and while most of the social media mavens are getting woodies over how great this is all going to be we are seeing new ideas being thought of each day, hour, minute that will only go to show just how badly this potentially great idea is going to get abused left right and center.
The current top idea that has come to light today is the idea being brought to you by a <shudder> social media consultancy </shudder> called Simplyzesty. It started yesterday with them creating a hand curated list of Twitterers who live in Ireland, and now today the word is that they are starting with lists for the US and UK.
The thing is with these lists is that they will be using some sort of automated system to create these two lists. Automated huh, well we all know that means that just as with any other scripts that can be run this stand the chance of being hijacked in some form or another.
According to Mike Butcher at TechCrunch (Europe) the process for getting on these lists will be as follows:
“Here’s how you get yourself into the list. The Irish one was built by hand, but the others are going to be built with a script but (sic) Twitter users tweeting “I want to get listed #TwitterCalifonia [or another state]” and Simplyzesty will collect all the tweets and add them to the lists for each State. In the UK Twitter users can tweet #TwitterEssex, replacing the county name with the county you live in.”
While Butcher notes that this won’t be a comprehensive list of sat Twitterers in Washington State or in London England I would be willing to bet that it will be full of spammer Twitter accounts. There is no mention in anything I have read about this automation of creating Country specific list as to whether there will be any oversight as to who actually gets on those lists.
Even the guys at The Next Web are having a hard time seeing any real value to the whole idea.
While it’s certainly interesting to see what everyone in a particular area is talking about, this isn’t the way to do it. All the company will have produced is a list of the people who are attention-seeking enough to want to be on it. What about all the other people out there in your state or county who aren’t on the list? Don’t they have something interesting to say?
On the surface, as with much of Web 2.0 and social media the warm and fuzzy of the goodness of man will win out, ideas like these are bound to become a way for spammers and less than ethical marketers to get their names on as many lists as possible thereby diluting the value of the original concept.
Call me pessimistic if you want but I tend to look at stuff like this with a healthy dose of realism and an understanding of how human nature isn’t always as pure in its motives as we might like to think.