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What is up with Twitter lists?

Yep, that’s what I’m asking after hearing the buzz.

I thought I was immune somehow, but just this week I found both my personal and MediaBLEEP Twitter usernames on multiple Twitter lists.

As I’m learning a little more about lists, let’s navigate through what they are and how churches and ministries can use them.

Brief Overview

Twitter lists provide a way for you organize users you follow into (wait for it; wait for it) lists.  They can be public or private.  Lists are linked from your profile where other Twitter users can subscribe to or join them.

Any Twitter member can make a list.  In fact, 6.5 million lists have been created since the feature recently launched.  There’s a list for charities who tweet, and a list for NFL players who tweet.  A staff member at my church has even created a list of Chapel staff members.

Set Up

Setting up a Twitter list is not difficult.  Here are the steps.

  1. Click “new list” in the new lists section on the right sidebar.lists1
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  3. Give your list a name, decide if it’s public or private, and click “create list.”lists2
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  5. Find people to add to your list. I searched Eric Murrell for this example.
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  7. When you find the correct person you’re looking for, click on the list icon, on the right.  This will open a dropdown.  Check the list you want to add them to.
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  9. Congrats!  You’re done.  You will see everyone’s tweets that are a part of your list.
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Integration

At bare minimum, Twitter lists give folks a chance to be able to connect with your staff in one click instead of trying to search one-at-a-time.

Once you have your list created, and you’re ready to get the word out, the easiest thing to do is link to it from your site or blog.

Here are three other ways to integrate it into your site, rated from easy to difficult.

Easy

Twitter List Widget: Build and customize it how you like, and embed it into your website or blog.

Intermediate

Twitter List Ajax Fanbox/Fanpage: A widget you can put in your sidebar, that allows your visitors to fill in their twitter name and join a specially crafted fan list in your Twitter account.

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Difficult (but not impossible)

Custom Integration through Twitter API: Using Twitter lists API’s, you can do some pretty cool stuff like the Huffington Post did for World Series coverage.

How do you use them?

How are you using lists at your church, ministry, or personally?  Inside your walls and out, what has been the benefit?  Contribute to the conversation by commenting, below.

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