Twitter users have their own rules for who they follow and not follow. Some follow those who fall into a specific field, career and whatnot. Guy LeCharles Gonzalez follows those with some connection to publishing. It’s not elitist if someone doesn’t follow you back. They use Twitter in a different way than you and I do. Nothing against you. Really. I promise.
I follow thousands of people. It’s crazy, I know. But my work varies. Know that I do not follow every high quality tweeter who follows me. Some folks just talk about things I’m not interested in. Most of the people I follow fall into one of the following areas:
Experts in social media and PR. This area changes daily and I want to keep up.
Experts in marketing especially business-to-business (B2B). For my work with InternetVIZ.
Make me laugh. I find lots of gems in Tweets to fill me with energy and smiles.
Those from the Dallas / Fort Worth area. Gotta stay on top of what’s happening in my neighborhood.
People who write about things related to disabilities and accessibility. Might find something worth sharing in my CI blog.
Gadgets, technology and web design. I cover this area often and have met a lot of folks in this field.
People who discuss general business. This one is broad, but they just don’t fall into any of the above categories.
I know it’s crazy that I have a bit of a list and a huge Twitter stream. Social networking is high on my list of things to do for my business. Writers could manage the people they follow and their lists in the following ways:
Create a writers list. This will be your water cooler, support system and colleagues in the same boat.
Create separate lists for editors, publishers, agents and gigs. I lump all of these into one because I have broader interest. Or you can make one list. It depends on your needs. If writers and these folks are the type of people you follow and nothing else — then use lists to narrow them down further.
Create a favorite people and clients list. Yes, you can make it private if you prefer not to share. This way you don’t miss a single tweet. This would most likely be a short list.
Follow other people’s lists. Why start from scratch? We’re not the only ones creating lists, so we can follow other people’s lists. I follow Simon Mackie‘s list of Web Worker Daily writers.
Create an experts on X topic list. What’s your beat? Football? Finance? Fashion? Make a list for your frequently covered topics for instant access when you’re working on an article. No more trying to remember the people you read for the topic.
Create a list for learning. Plenty of Twitter IDs focus on tweeting writing, grammar and other tips.
Create a list for current events, conferences and projects. Hey, there’s lots happening on Twitter right now due to NaNoWriMo.
To see my lists, go to @merylkevans and look in the right sidebar. Click the list to see who appears in it. You can also “Follow the list,” which adds my list to yours so you won’t have to manage it. Just remember, you can’t edit other people’s lists.
Here’s a closed-captioned screencast on how to create lists.
Some developers behind applications that make it easier to manage your Twitter business are already working on adding the list feature. I look forward to seeing what they do.
I love these lists especially since I’m a freak when it comes to organization. Of course, you can find me @merylkevans; hope I make the good list!