Not totally photo related, not just a journal. A bit of both.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Scoble's alternative Suggested User List for Twitter

Anyone on Twitter has probably seen the SUL or the 'suggested user list'. It is full of really baffling and useless people to follow for the most part.  If you are starting out on Twitter thats not the place to follow too many useful people. And yet it is there. is on the list ("Meet celebrity pets, see the cutest photos and create your pet's profile!"), but the @gatesfoundation (Bill and Melinda Gates) isn't. In terms of sports people, Shaq is but the outspoken @mcuban who owns the Dallas Mavericks and HDNet isn't. Britney Spears is on there but @johnperrybarlow (wrote lyrics for the Grateful Dead, co-founded EFF) isn't. CNN’s @AmanpourCNN (Christiane Amanpour) isn't on the list, but Ali Nejad, host of NBC's Poker After Dark and is a Fox News Red Eye panelist is.  The comparisons can go on...

That's not to say that there are not some good choices on there, but a good deal of it is mostly fluff. Some people like following fluff...  

Since @scobleizer (Robert Scoble), who is undeniably - whether you like him or not  and most people do like him - a force majeur in pumping up all things internet, social media, blogging and tech, it is surprising he isn't on there. And yes, he is grumpy about not being on the SUL.  But his list of who is missing from the SUL on his blog, while somewhat tech centric, does make several points.

Writing this, it dawned on me that the SUL is Twitter's version of the Explore page on Flickr. That has nothing to do with reality either, and its algorithms are shrouded in mystery.

My way of finding people is this: if looking for celebrities, famous people etc, find someone you like, say @wilw (Wil Wheaton), and see who they follow. If someone incredibly busy has 10,000 followers - or a million - and is following 30, who are those 30? What are they adding to the discourse that he or she follows them? If @namehere thinks those people have something to say, and I like @namehere, maybe I should check their followers out. Doesn't always work -especially for those SEO types who have 10.000 followers and follow everyone back, but it has several times in the past and I have found some fascinating people as a result. 

Either ditch the SUL, or re-vamp how people get on it.  Because right now, it's adding nothing.


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