List.ly unrolled a great new feature today (December 11, 2013): Twitter lists. This feature allows users to create the List.ly lists they love directly from their existing Twitter links. Even better — these lists can be crowdsourced and therefore continually updated.

We talked to Nick Kellet, Co-Founder of List.ly, about this launch, and he offered some tips for making the most of the Twitter lists feature.

B2C: Can you explain to our readers the basic concept of the crowdsourced Twitter lists feature on List.ly?

Nick: With just Twitter only YOU can manage YOUR lists. You can make your own lists or you can subscribe to other people’s lists. There is no middle ground.

  • You can’t contribute to other people’s lists.
  • Nobody can contribute to your lists.

There is a rule on the internet – the 1% rule.

  • 1% create
  • 9% contribute
  • 90% consume

With Twitter lists this rule can’t apply. There is no role today for the 9%,  no contribution, no participation.

It’s simply create or consume. That’s what we fix. We  let people

  • Curate lists on Listly
  • Subscribe to lists on Twitter

The best of both worlds.

Where did you see the greatest need for crowdsourced lists when creating this feature?

We saw people doing this on Listly, so we could source great lists and let people create embeddable people directories for inclusion on blogs.

This list of Doctors on Twitter was sourced on Listly. Now it’s 600+ doctors made by 150+ people.

We didn’t offer the final step – to make a List on Twitter that you could subscribe to.

So now, we  close that gap. We now sync the Listly list to a corresponding Twitter lists e.g. Doctors on Twitter.

  • The real value here is we make Twitter Lists into useful content.
  • We also make it safer to subscribe to other people’s lists (because you know you can extend)

How do you envision brands (across multiple industries) using the Twitter lists?

People can crowdsource lists for and in conjunction with the customers and prospects. Lists are utility. Lists are content. King & Queen.

People like Robert Scoble put a lot of effort to create high utility lists. As a result, people follow his lists. They subscribe. They become trusted resources.

e.g. Tech News People  is a list of 600+ journalists managed personally by Robert.

That is a lot of work. It’s a slow drip feed kind of work – as lists will always evolve – people come and go.

This list has 6,000+ subscribers – proof of value.

This is great, we just make this much simpler, much more scalable. We remove friction from the process. Stuff doesn’t work when you have to ask.

We can enable many more Roberts to exist in many more niches.

The opportunity is to become the “go to list expert” in your domain.

People will understandably want to moderate what goes on their lists. Is there a way for list owners to do that?

Sure. Switch on moderation and suggestions are sent to the moderation queue. You can then accept people that meet your criteria and they are added to the main list and to Twitter.

Simple and frictionless. Nobody has to talk to anyone.

You can also appoint team members to manager your lost.

No more bottlenecks.

Will list owners be maintaining two lists (one on List.ly and one on Twitter), or will the lists update in both places?

You curate on Listly, the Twitter list is kept in sync. So you only maintain one thing (the listly list) and leave the Twitter list to Listly to manage.

Since Business2Community is a community of bloggers, could you share some tips and ideas for how bloggers might use the crowdsourced Twitter lists?

To be valuable a list must be focussed and current. It needs to be a complete representation of a market place.

Lists help people find other people in the same niche.

Lists are networking tools.

So my tips are purely to think

  • Who do I know?
  • Who do I want to know?
  • Who can help?
  • Who can I help?

Lists embedded on your blog are organic content. They help people get found – so think hard about the title of your list.

The title on Twitter does has to be stupidly short – 25 charachters .

The title on Listly can be much longer and when you embed a list on a post you can think carefully how you craft the title.

Think of the keywords people will be searching for in these niches.

  • Think in terms of 3-4 word key word combos.
  • Think about making the list small enough to be niche and communal.
  • Think about working with others to create them
  • Think about this is something that will built slowly

No list is ever complete. Lists that don’t get love and attention will rot.

Anything else you’d like people to know about the List.ly crowdsourced Twitter lists?

Twitter lists will be a premium feature, but we’ve decide to waive that for Twitter Lists created before Jan 15th 2014.

So come along and give Listly a try and invite your community to help.

Make sure you embed the lists on your blog, if you want people to find your via your blog that’s essential.

Then invite people to visit your site to add to the list. You can add to a Listly list directly from blog post.

Also try embedding someone else’s list. That’s much more significant than a tweet or a comment. The right lists can provide quality content to your audience and you don’t need to be the owner.

Think of Listly as Slideshare for lists, with one twist – lists on Listly keep evolving. They get better with time.

Listly is all about being collaborative so don’t make your list too long to begin with – give people room and options to suggest people.

I’d even recommend missing off some obvious people.

Getting the first few people to participate is the hardest, its gets easier once you have begun to build a trusted resource.

We want to thank Nick Kellet for taking the time to talk to us about the List.ly Twitter lists feature. Not using List.ly yet? Check it out and get started making lists!