January 14, 2014

The Best List of Twitter Lists Ever

So I just finished up reading an interesting blog post from a great Tweep that I respect, like and follow on Twitter and his blog.  Tom Whitby is one of the many educators I respect on Twitter and after following him on Twitter and on his blog and even watching interviews of him on You Tube, I have gotten to know him and his sense of humor while also respecting his knowledge, experience and passion for education and educators.  As a matter of fact I was lucky enough to meet him this past year at the ASCD National Conference in Chicago.  The other night he was taking a bit of a beating over a list he either created or had shared via Twitter.  I would know which is the case, but I really don't pay much attention to Twitter lists anymore.  

Apparently some people were offended that they weren't on the list or they were offended for some of their friends that weren't on the list.  Maybe they just have deep rooted hatred for lists.  I blame their parents, or the fact that their elementary teachers made them create lists when teaching that all important skill.  The thing is, it seemed like an innocent list that was shared, and it was just one of thousands of lists I see shared on Twitter every day.  These same lists helped me a great deal when I was getting started on Twitter.  I didn't know who to follow.  Not at all.  I started typing in names I knew, but many of those educators weren't on Twitter.  I'm glad to say that is changing, but there is still a huge percentage of educators that aren't connected yet. But these lists helped me connect with some of the big players in the "Connected Educator" game and by following them, those educators helped me connect with even more.  

Do I think the lists sometimes exclude people that should be on there?  Do I think they miss other great Tweeps to connect with?  YES!! Mostly because they usually don't include me.  Just kidding, but yeah sure they miss folks.  No one wants to read my list of 2,600 people to follow on Twitter.  Honestly, I could probably narrow that down to 1,000 but it wouldn't be easy.  If I really checked my feed and was very reflective about who I really connect with and chat with often....... I could probably knock it down to 200 or so, but when I think about it, I would have a hard time saying that I don't get a little something from every one of them, and I still find myself finding new folks to connect with all the time on various chats.

So here is the thing, if you don't like lists, don't check them.  If you think they exclude people, well you are probably right, but then don't be a hypocrite......instead you better start following everyone out there.  I mean it, follow every educator you see on Twitter and help them to feel included.  I haven't cried about not being nominated for greatest new blogger with blonde hair that is slowly turning gray if it doesn't fall out first.  I didn't even get a little hurt for not getting nominated for a Bammy (like the one for really large guy that uses Twitter quite a bit). Instead I chose to celebrate those that did, and I sure as heck made sure I was following them on Twitter so I could glean a little knowledge from them.  Twitter should be about learning and connecting. It should be about sharing with the amazing educators in your network and feeling fortunate when others choose to follow you and you discover another educator you can learn from.

So here is my list of lists to follow on Twitter:

All of them.

Get on, and follow everyone you can.
Read all that you can. 

Check out all the lists, articles, blogs and other Social Media connections you can make.  

Eventually you will get to the point that you will see that you don't need to follow every person anymore. You will see that you don't need to bother checking out every list anymore. You will see that you're not that concerned about who was the Digital Leader of the Year, The Elementary Principal of the Year, The Bammy Winner, or The Greatest Blogger that has poor Grammar.  Instead you will just feel honored that you know that person, feel good for them being honored and begin to hope that you can just connect with them and learn something from them.  Because if it begins to become about finding your name on a list, or one of your friends names on the list, then you just need to start writing your own lists, so someone else can contact you and say, hey you didn't include me or my good buddy.  Hey Ya'll.....we're all good. Good at something.  We all have something to offer, and we all have something to learn.  So as I said, follow everyone you can, read everything you can, join in as much as you can...........and enjoy the ride.........because when you don't anymore.........well, then it's time to take a break.......but don't waste a night critiquing everyone else's list.


  1. I want to thank you Tom for including all my lists on your list of lists to follow! I am so honored! #soblessed #winning #honored

    On a serious note, I completely agree. Share great things, connect with people that appreciate what you share. That should be reward enough. Thanks, Tom. I wish everyone was as grounded as you are.

  2. If anyone should be offended it is me that Duck Dynasty was not nominated for a Golden Globe, but, hey, that's how I roll, Jack! :-)

  3. Lots of emotional capacity wasted on popularity...

  4. So you don't believe in lists, but IF you did, would I be like top 6? Top 60? If you had a "Cinnamon Bun Ale List of Tweeps" could I be on that?

    Thanks for sharing your fine thoughts TW!!