Today Twitter has rolled out a new feature: it allows for the creation of lists for organizing the people you follow. In addition, it allows you the option of making these lists public (similar to social bookmarking sites like Digg or Del.icio.us – though right now there doesn’t appear to be a way to subscribe to the lists of other users; one can only view such lists). What would really help this tool take off is if Twitter were to offer the ability to search the lists of other users and follow all of the individuals on those lists en masse.
The interface is easy-to-use (simply go to your “Following” page and run through the list, checking boxes for groups or creating new lists)and the integration thus far is seamless (when someone tweets, you’ll now see a note about which list of yours they’re on). I’ve included a screencap of one of my lists: “Geeky Peeps” which has an assortment of geek thought leaders like actor Wil Wheaton, comedian Paul F Thompkins, professor Lawrence Lessig, and Kevin Mitnick (whose account, curiously, is not “verified” in spite of the fact that I’d definitely consider him a public figure).
I’ve discovered I’m already being followed on another list for GRCC from created by my colleague Eric Kunnen. The wired world moves fast.
If you’re following a lot of people, there unfortunately doesn’t appear to be an easy way to organize them in chunks – you’ll need to go through and hand-sort everyone. Kudos to Twitter on this much-needed functionality; the inability to keep my disparate worlds apart has kept me from following more users because of how unmanageable the feed becomes.
ALSO: I missed this back in June of this year, but Twitter also added “Verified” accounts so that you can be assured that the celebrities you’re following on Twitter are, in fact, who they say they are (and not some griefer doing it for the lulz).