My last TweetDeck post described how to filter some of the crazy out of Twitter. It was a semi-permeable film separating you from the gibbering madness beyond. It’s better than nothing, but oh, God, it’s still out there.
Now I’m going to show you how to let a little bit of it back in.
There are people on Twitter who are consistently funny, entertaining, intelligent. We like them, but once you follow a couple thousand people, those sane voices fly by so quickly you’ll miss the good stuff.
That’s why you need to set up a list. Lists exist in the primitive Twitter interface, but they’re pretty clumsy and difficult to reach. TweetDeck allows you to create them easily and dedicate an entire column to that narrowly defined list of users.
Click that + to add a column, then click Lists and Create list.
You can make public or private lists. Public lists are cool because other people can use your list. I don’t think anyone ever does that. I follow a public agents list because, well, it’s full of literary agents and they have lots of ideas about publishing. I don’t know of a good way to find other people’s lists, but they’re out there. For now I’m going to make my list private.
Then all you need to do is add people. You can search and add in the obvious way. For public lists, the person gets a notification that you’re adding them to the list, so don’t create a list named “Suspected Illuminati” unless you don’t mind its members knowing that you’re onto them.
That’s it. Once you’ve added your select few you end up with something like this:
You’ll get their tweets and retweets, unless you filter further. You’ll also see their responses to other people’s tweets, unless you filter those out. If you are smart about it you’ll get a column of concentrated awesome that constantly prevents any remnants of productivity you may have had left.
Curtailing productivity is the whole purpose of Twitter, anyway, isn’t it?