As you probably now know, Twitter recently launched a list function. And, oh the brou-ha-ha in the blogosphere! Some people love it. Some people hate it. Whether you love it or hate it, I think it could be a useful tool.
I never actually use the Twitter interface. I use a tool called Seesmic Desktop for my Twitter interface, and I do so for a couple of reasons. First, I am able to group all the people I follow into categories: “friends”, “theatre tweeps”, “business”, “media”. This way, I can see at a glance if the people that I follow whom I deem to be most important have said anything interesting. Secondly, it allows me to manage several twitter accounts at once.
The functionality of Twitter lists is similar to what I use Seesmic for. You can now create lists out of people that you follow, grouping them into categories. Here’s the caveat: you own the list, so only you can add/remove from it. Similarly, if you find someone who has a list you are interested in, you can follow it. This does not mean that every single person on the list will be added individually to the people you follow. Rather, you click on the “Lists you follow” tab, then click on the specific list. All the latest tweets of those people will be displayed.
What’s great about this feature is that it makes it easier to find people on Twitter. Not just people, but people with whom you have something in common. What’s not great about it is that it’s starting to make people feel like they are back in high school again, and feelings may be hurt if you unwittingly (or wittingly!) exclude someone from your list.
Here are some links to some more information about Twitter Lists. Check them out and decide for yourself.
Miss 604’s tutorial
Mashable’s Twitter List FAQ
Listorious ranks the top Twitter Lists
Twit Tip: 8 things to consider before using Twitter Lists