The list cycle

At the end of last year I decided to try a new strategy for using Twitter.

For a while now, I've been using a list as my default view, rather than the main timeline. Every now and again I would do a bit of a reset and start a new list from scratch in an attempt to lighten the load and gain some new perspectives. To break out of the filter bubble a little.

This was working okay, but I never managed to be consistent about it and ended up with a proliferation of dated lists. So I decided to try to automate it, and the list cycle was born.

The list cycle is an experiment.

The simplest explanation is that it's a piece of code which automatically maintains a list which only includes accounts I have interacted with in the last 30 days. I now use this as my main timeline.

You can follow me on Twitter @drzax.

Why am I on this weird list?

So if you came here looking for an answer that question, it's because in the last 30 days I have either:

  • replied to, favourited, retweeted or subtweeted one of your tweets, or
  • favourited, retweeted or subtweeted a tweet you are mentioned in, or
  • mentioned you in one of my tweets.

Why are you doing this?

Well, it's an experiment, and mostly it's just to see what happens. One aim is to keep the list of accounts I actually pay attention to smaller, constantly changing and more diverse.

So far, it appears to be doing all those things. The number of accounts on the list seems to hover somewhere between 200 and 300—far fewer than my main timeline. I'm getting all sorts of accounts in the list I would never have followed manually, so it's more diverse (however slightly). And it changes every day.

What next?

If I ever find the time I'd like to throw in the ability to have a 'whitelist' of accounts which stay on the list and a 'blacklist' which never get on the list.

I'd also like to start collecting a few stats about how accounts move on and off the list—just for the sake of curiosity.

Other than that, you tell me! If you're so inclined, it's pretty easy to set this system up for yourself. There are instructions in the readme.