Monday, November 2, 2015

Building Twitter Lists with IFTTT pt 2

List Curation - The Human Touch. 

Building the Twitter List using IFTTT was the Easy Part

Link to the previous article with How To instructionsBut, what about the results? 

  • List launched 10/30/2015 with 0 members
  • As of 11/2/2015 - Nearly 2096 members

Success? It depends on your definition. 

The Good

The best result is that 27 people subscribed to the list. 

These are people that are looking at the description, and decide to opt-in and follow the list. Tip: make sure that you include a description that entices the correct audience.

Collecting more than 2000 members in about three days, with minimal intervention is an amazing success. And, I was able to turn off the IFTTT recipes so that the list does not continue grow out of control. 

The Bad

My original list (EDTECH) was manually curated and contains less than 250 members. Building the original list was slow, tedious... nearly painful. But, it is much more targeted, much more specific to the user that I want to track. In fact, I went to EDTECH2 and started pulling members into EDTECH just to improve the signal-to-noise ratio.

The Ugly

You know those people on Twitter that search out hashtags to leverage for self-promotion -- like US Trenders that promise re-tweets? Yes, they get collected here as well. 

When I first reviewed the Tweets from this list several of the worst offenders popped-right up. Dozens of mostly-worthless posts. I immediately removed them from the list, hoping that they have moved on to other hashtags. 

How to remove: 

  • Open your list and click on List Members
  • Click the gear icon next to the profile
  • Click on Add or Remove from Lists
  • Uncheck the box
Remember - this is not the same as Blocking. Since the lists are Public, you lose a bit of control on members and their posts. 

The Bottom Line

Managing the list (sorting and editing) is still time consuming.  But building lists via IFTTT works very well under these circumstances: 
  1. Your hashtag or search term is very specific
  2. Your hashtag or search term is tied to an event with a very short time horizon - like a conference that uses a specific hashtag, or a specific sporting event
  3. Your list is simply a "list" so you can follow more than 2000 people - with the advantage of a topic or theme

What I would do differently: 
  • Create a separate list for each recipe (each term would get a separate list) - to improve the time needed to filter the members.
  • Watch the lists to see which Tweeps and which hashtags are the most beneficial. For example, the #GoOpen tag relates to a different theme than #MOOC. One might be more valuable than the other.
  • Manage each list to collect the best members to a list with a similar name and description. 
  • Manage the recipes to make this cool process even better. 

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