On Campus

Now on Twitter

Finally took the "red pill"

After a long period of determined resistance, I finally bought into Twitter. Part of my resistance, for the longest time, was the sense that Twitter would collapse under wide adoption – rather like how the Facebook feed to “watch” what your friends are @doing has effectively collapsed under the weight of too many users and too many friends. It’s been hammered into near uselessness. But the new lists function promises a solution to that for Twitter.

Not to substitute my own new experiences for the informed opinion in that link I just offered, but the advantage of lists is threefold. First, you can maintain public lists to share your interests. That’s fine, but hardly revolutionary. Second, you can follow other lists, and get a sense of what’s going out outside of who you’re following. Again, nice, but not a new idea. But third, you can maintain private lists. This is the game changer for me. This allows you to sort all of the people you are following into topical categories – as broad or as specific as you like. So in my case, for example, I can maintain a list of the folks who write on post-secondary issues and see just what they’ve done lately when I want to get into that topic. It isn’t lost in a sea of where my friends went drinking last night, or details about my cousin’s wedding. And when I do want to see what my family and friends are up to, I can have lists for that too, and sort out everything else.

If anyone is interested, you can follow me here. One complaint about Twitter is that it doesn’t seem to triangulate people very well in the search function, making it hard to find people sometimes. While Facebook will assume the person you want is probably the one you have the most friends in common with, Twitter seems to apply no such logic. So it’s proving hard to find some people. Often, in the new digital age, I do appreciate the advantages of an uncommon name.

Questions are welcome at jeff.rybak@utoronto.ca. Even the ones I don’t post will still receive answers, and where I do use them here I’ll remove identifying information.

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