Last week Twitter pushed the new feature of Twitter List to everyone. But after few days of using it and from comments of other users I’m seeing some fallacies of the feature.

Here are some of them:

  • why am messages from people I follow and are in a list appear twice?
  • what is the difference between following someone and following a list he/she is part of?
  • if someone did a “asp-net-mvc” list, why is he getting also my tweets about my tweets about my trekking?

The first is probably a bug that, sooner or later, will be fixed, but the other two are conceptual problems that are not that easy to be fixed.

My solution is Twitter Topics. And I envision it that way:

  • Everyone declares the topics he plans to tweet about (I’d probably declare aspnetmvc, .net, outdoors and everything else)
  • When a user adds someone to a list he decides which topic he wants to bind to the list
  • Each tweet contains a tag with the “official” topic the used announced (or a new metadata could be added to the tweet to avoid stealing useful characters)

I know this sounds a bit complex, and depends too much on users adding a tag for the topic, but I think this is the only way to solve the fallacies I see on Twitter Lists.

  • It makes clearer the differences between following someone and adding him in a list (if you want to get all the tweets you follow, otherwise you add to list)
  • You get only tweets about the topic of your list.

And this is not very complex to implement. It can be accomplished by adding a filter in the list, and by asking everyone to list the topics they tweet about.

Another solution could be filtering on the usual hashtags, but I think that asking to users the tags that are going to use (and on which they want to be filtered on), will make them stick to their tags instead of using different variations (for example #aspnetmvc,, #asp-net-mvc)

What do you think? Are you using lists? Did you find the same problems I did? What do you think about this possible solution? Please, write your ideas in the comment section below.