It seems Twitter has all but abandoned lists. You have to click three times to get into a list from the main page at Twitter; adding someone to a list takes another three steps.
But for some, Twitter lists remain a must for managing their time on the social network. You can use lists for keeping up with news, or staying on top of celebrity gossip, or watching the big game. Lists provide smaller slices of the main Twitter feed that make it feasible to use the network both for work and fun.
A new venture from Seattle startup veteran and Twitter list pioneer Marcelo Calbucci aims to make creating and managing those lists easy. Listpedia lets users quickly build lists by adding them manually or scraping information from just about any web page.
The latter is the really powerful part. Users can just enter a URL that has links to a bunch of Twitter handles (say, the GeekWire 200), and Listpedia will automatically build a list of those accounts in seconds.
Calbucci, who worked on a third-party Twitter list feature called TweepML seven years ago before selling the service, has been working on Listpedia since July. It’s independent from Pioneer Square Labs, the new startup studio where Calbucci currently works.
“I’m launching a new service called Listpedia to make Twitter Lists great (again),” Calbucci said in an email. “Imagine the combination of Twitter Lists + Github.”
Listpedia isn’t just about list creation — sharing is also key to the site. Users can easily share a list with link, but they can also fork it. So if someone has a good list of national news accounts, but you want to add your favorite local news sources, you can just fork the list and add them yourself.
Suggestions are supported, too. For example, if a friend has a list of great commentators that you both follow during the baseball season, and you think someone should be added, you can suggest that person easily through the site as well.
Listpedia also makes it easy to keep track of your lists. If you follow a list of tech journalists, you can “watch” the list to get notifications when people are added or taken off of it. The service also brings search-ability to lists. You can use the search tool to find lists developed by others and subscribe to them with a simple click.
One thing Listpedia doesn’t really solve is viewing lists. While users can see a stream of all list members in list, it still takes a few too many clicks to get there. Luckily, TweetDeck is still around — at least on the web and the Mac — and it was practically made for Twitter lists. Pairing the apps together should help Twitter power users take better advantage of the social network.
Calbucci previously founded the Seattle tech community site Seattle 2.0, which was acquired by GeekWire. Before Pioneer Square Labs, he was co-founder and CTO of Seattle healthcare startup EveryMove. He also previously founded Sampa, and worked as an engineer at Microsoft.