Twitter’s new list feature is one of those things that seems simple on the surface and is easily ignored.
But it has deeply changed how I get my news and how I interact with the tech community.
Click through these lists and you’ll see a different world than you would have thought possible on Twitter. This is the order I visit the lists in the morning:
Tech News Brands. Here’s 500 tech news sources. Everything from the Wall Street Journal to TechCrunch. Watch this list for a few minutes and you’ll be up to date on what’s happening in tech right now. This is far more complete than Techmeme or Google News and far faster too.
Once I’ve gotten up to date on the news, I check out the people who write and produce the news. Here you’ll find 491 journalists and bloggers and see what the back channel is. Often this is more interesting than the tech news brands, but it’s lots of fun to flip back and forth while some big news story is breaking.
Want to know what the news will be tomorrow? Well, the rich guys who are funding companies often know what will be big and so I watch this list of 415 venture capitalists and angel investors to see what they are thinking about.
The venture capitalists, though, are fun to contrast with 447 people who founded their own companies. Often these two lists have divergent points of view that are fun to flip back and forth between.
After all that I visit the tech pundits list. These are 451 folks who love to tell you what they think happened.
If you’re an entrepreneur I’ve built a list of weapons for you. Everything from stationary companies to Yammer, for keeping your team up to date. This is still a list in progress, so if you have a company that has a weapon for entrepreneurs, let me know!
What about tech company executives? I have a list of 283 who are CEOs, CTOs, CIOs, or VPs. Lots of times news gets announced by these people. Marissa Mayer, for instance, announced that Google had made a search deal with Twitter and if you were following this list you would have seen that.
Here’s a list of 376 tech companies and their official PR accounts (everyone from Google to startups). I find a lot of new products here and find out about updates, too.
Web Hosting and Cloud Hosting/Cloud Computing list. 500 people, news sources, hosting companies (not just Rackspace, either). I’m trying to keep up to date on the hosting business and Cloud Computing and this is how I do it. Find a more complete list anywhere.
Everyone should watch their coworkers. I do the same, with a list of 302 Rackspace employees and data sources. Have you made a list of your coworkers? Why not?
These are my core information lists that I check many times per day.
But I have a few specialized lists too:
TechStartups: this is a list of 500 startups that most people won’t have heard of yet (mostly early stage). I’ll work on this list more over the next few weeks.
Geolocation (174 people and companies). I’m interested in developers and companies that are building new kinds of apps that use GPS and location. Things like Foursquare and Gowalla (both of those are on this list, along with the founders).
iPhone. 500 of the top iPhone app developers and companies and other influentials and programmers.
Twitter tools and devs (353). Twitter has a growing ecosystem of companies and people who are developing tools and services. This list has everyone I’ve been able to find so far.
Tech Event Organizers (239). These are people who run events and the events that they run. Everything from Emerging Tech to BarCamps.
Video or audio shows (101 people and shows). These are podcasts and video shows, mostly tech centric. Everything from Leo Laporte’s shows to Gillmor Gang.
My favstar list (500 people). These are the people I’ve clicked “Favorite” on the most. Favstar.fm keeps track of who I favorite the most and puts them on this list. It’s actually one of my favorite lists, but less focused than the others.
Web Innovators (79). If you’ve done something big for the Internet I put you on this list.
Programmers (306). I’m not sure what I’ll do with this list in the future (Twitter limits me to 500 people and obviously there’s more than 500 programmers in the world). But, if you are looking for what programmers think this is a good place to start.
Most influential in tech (225). This is my most followed list, but it’s also the most subjective. What makes someone influential? Well, I study who has the respect of their peers and who gets stuff done. Or, who has a bully pulpit and can get things focused on.
Anyway, if you are looking for other lists, I highly recommend using Listorious, which is a service that tracks lists (you have to add yours, if you haven’t you really should).
If you think you should be added to a list of mine, let me know in the comments here or drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks and hope you get some value out of these. I know that these have dramatically changed my world.
A few other things: 1. you should check out my favorites list. Every day I put my favorite tweets on there. In about two months I’ve put 8,000 items on this list.
My favorite Twitter client is now Seesmic Web, which supports lists now (and other new Twitter features like Geolocation). The other day I interviewed the Seesmic team about these new features and the video is very telling.