5 Ways Twitter Lists Can Defeat Douchebags.


No iPhone app can make him less off putting.

As you read this, the world of Twitter trembles.

People unsure of the future.  People wondering what to do.

All because TwitJesus gave us lists.

It nearly sent me into cardiac arrest.

I know.

How alarmingly nerdy!

Lists are a way to organize people on Twitter.  To group them.  They’re public so you can see who put who on what list.

But that’s just tweaking the nipples on the real moobs of this issue.

Twitter lists can help us defeat douchebags.

Here’s how they can do that, in my douchey 5-reason format.

TwitJesus, the three-headed deity that governs Twitter.  Also, frequent patrons of San Francisco-area Starbucks.

TwitJesus, the three-headed deity that governs Twitter. Also a frequent patron of San Francisco-area Starbucks.

1. Lists Expose The People Who “Gamed” Their Followers.

In the long-long ago, when Twitter was just a tiny fertile playground for nerds to discuss null pointer exceptions, someone discovered a trick.

You can use scripts and programs to get thousands of followers.  The programs follow thousands for you.  Then, if they don’t follow you back, the program unfollows them.


Every minute.  Every day.  Until you’re following 100K and have 100K followers.

It’s like combing a dance floor for drunk chicks.

Which I’d never do.

Even drunk chicks are like let’s just be friends.

Now with lists, you can see how many of their followers actually like them.

If a dude has 1.9 million followers, and is on 4 lists, he’s a gamer.

The lists expose his pee-pee and wee-wee for all of us to see.


Oh what? You've never seen a Tremendous News tattoo on a super-hot chick? Whatever.

2. We’re In That Pleasant Interval Where Douchebags Haven’t Figured Out How To Ruin This Yet.

Soon, they’ll find a way to game this too.  Shill accounts, a bunch of vapid lists from the same person.

But they haven’t yet.

Bask in the fleeting moment.

Bask, people.

Bask or I’ll be pissed.


Douchebags are so pissed that they can't figure out how to game twitter lists yet. Ha! Look at his tiny package!

3. Quality Is Now On Display.

Douchebags think like this: I have 50 000 followers.  I mean something. I’ll charge people to teach them how to “leverage Twitter”.

Then they parade around the nerdy country, speak at conferences and become even bigger douches.

The truth is they don’t mean something.  You don’t mean anything unless people empower you to mean something.

Take my friend The Bloggess.

She has over 23 thousand followers, and she’s on over 1000 lists.

A thousand, people.

One list for every twenty-three followers she has.

Let’s do some quick math on my abacus.

That’s a following/listed ratio of 4.3%.

That is amazingly high.

That means people like her.

And I’m like totally doing her.

Run and spread that rumor, tiny friends.  Spread that rumor.


My PG-rendition of the Bloggess. The R-rated ones I'm selling on PayPal.

4. The Blue Collar Tweeters Are Empowered.

Twitter isn’t run by celebrities or people with a staggering amount of followers.

It’s run by the blue collar tweeter.  A guy like my intern Peanut.  100 following, 100 followers.

Well him and Britney F-ed Vids.

Britney F-ed Vids kinda runs Twitter, too.

But the regular, normal guys like Peanut are what mobilize this beast.

And they were completely screwed over in the last year or two.

Because when the douchebags followed thousands trying to jack up their numbers, guys like Peanut just tried to do it the right way.

With personality.

And that’s fucking exhausting.

But now if you take a look, tiny Peanut is listed on 7 lists.


That’s almost a 7% ratio.

Way better than most douches.

I’ll take Peanut over any of them, any day of the week.

I was going to put a picture of Peanut here, but then I got distracted by this bum tomato.  It's a bum tomato people!

I was going to put a picture of Peanut here, but then I got distracted by this bum tomato. It's a bum tomato people!

5. Now We’ll Know What People Think Of You.

Before people would call themselves things like “social media cowboys” and we’d just have to sit there and believe it.

Well maybe you did.

I though that shit was hilarious.

Now, you click on Listed and you can read what lists people have put that individual on.  It’s the naked truth on how people feel about that person.

Take mine.


How about you, though?  Many people consider you to be a douchebag.

In many ways, I am.  But I’m self-hating.  So it doesn’t count.

There you have it.  Twitter lists, if not gamed, can help us win the war against douchebags.

It’ll help restore the blue collar tweeter back to it’s rightful place on top of the Twitter world.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go shave my goofy-looking face.

hurt my feelings on twitter here or ruin my facebook experience here.

  • sɐıqoʇ

    As (almost) always: Great post ... but: I don't use lists (does that make me a douche?) ... I do block people who keep following and unfollowing me.

  • Gregory Alan Elliott

    When I grow up, I want to be a Douchbag just like TremendousNews.

  • So far, while I think lists are really cool and I love grouping people together, I don't use them as a basis for following people. I actually stay away from following people following or being followed by an absurd number of people, even if they are on tons of lists, because they usually tweet too much or will never, ever reply to you.

  • norean

    luv the bum tomato!

  • Bum tomato ! A douchebag would never eat a tomato like that ! Good one ! Yes i am yelling without caps lock on !

  • i got paranoid for a minute, but then i saw I'm on 116 lists. Not great, not shameful. And growing

  • The fact that I'm on 1000 lists is way more surprising than the fact that you're doing me. I *am* throwing up a lot. Send child support in advance, please. I'm in desperate need of amaretto.

  • Why am I not on one of your lists, am I a Gamer??

  • I was going to say something about lists and DBags, but then I too was distracted by the bum tomato.

  • cexdance

    best blog log I have read in a loong time! Thanks for colaborating! lets get naked douchbags!

  • I have a little over 1,500 followers, and I'm already on 115 lists. But well over half of them have something to do with NaNoWriMo. My NaNo list isn't the biggest, but it's the most followed. It has over 300 people, but all of them are trying to write over 50,000 words this month, so no douchebags there. Most of them, in fact, are "blue collar tweeters" with even fewer followers than your intern Peanut. I seem to be the "big man on Twitter" among the whole "wrimo" group, or at least the one who isn't Chris Baty...

    The real douchebags? I just don't follow them, much less list them. I don't like having annoying people pollute my Twitter stream, you see.

    Anyway, once the gamers start gaming the lists, the rating sites should change their algorithms so that they take into consideration the quality of the tweeps in their lists, both the ones they follow and the ones that follow them. Their 1,000 lists artificially packed with spambots should count for less than the 115 that follow me, both the NaNoWriMo ones and those belonging to such tweeps as @kim and @BuzzEdition.

    Anyway, it's early in the Twitter lists saga, so things are bound to change greatly by this time next year. For one thing, I suggested to @twitter that they add groups, which would be like lists mutually owned by their members. And others have their own suggestions...

    Oh well, I blather and procrastinate writing my latest NaNoWriMo novel... *sigh*

  • Also, drop the term "douchbags." It plays into the idea that women's genitals need to be washed and whatever comes out in that washing is disgusting. Not to get too serious on your TN ass, but, there y'go.

  • Sorry, man, but I almost unfollowed you today (no joke) when I realized you have over 15k followers. I'm not a fan of the mega-stars. But, I still like you. And I know you don't care about ONE follower dropping you, but I will say you bashing on mega-stars and/or the gamers pretending to have followers using whatever technological wizardry they've used is starting to ring a little hollow. Said with a smiley emoticon all throughout.

  • Or how about... just saying what it is.

  • 9 listed with 62 followers! that's around 14.5% listed rate! Suck it! That's gotta be like, 3 popped collar cool right? (I'll get the fourth collar with more followers and lists, and I'll pop my Five Star General collar when I'm linked on iReport!)

  • So I'm on 19 lists over 159 followers... 11.9%!? Ax a couple of bots and call it 12. I'm cool and I didn't know it! Hey, what's the impressive-sounding name for that metric? BTW, does it matter that most of the lists have "shit" in their names? Kthxbai

  • leewoodford

    I have so far avoided a most wanted list.... in any context!!!

  • Fantastic! I had my own rant on Geeksugar when their poll on Twitter Lists showed that most people were not in favor of the new feature. "Now Twitter's more of a popularity contest!" OH WELL!

    While I do not pride myself on my # of followers (or try not to) I was pretty estastic to see myself on lists as soon as the feature rolled out. The lists show a lot about me and pretty accurately. From the lists I'm on people can see that:

    1. I'm some sort of designer or creative person
    2. I might be a little charming (to someone!)
    3. I know someone that speaks Tagalog and considers me a friend
    4. I Retweet often (if relevant)
    5. I like Hip-hop (or music in general) and express that freely

    I can now use lists when I am deciding whether or not to follow a fellow tweeter in addition to "Do they have a relevant bio? Do they have a url? Are they following way more people than are following them?"

  • Some folks have already found mean ways to use the lists. I saw one the other day that was titled "douchebags" and while such a title may be warranted--why follow said db and list him? Whats the point? There's also the case of the [insert platform here] extremists who used to search the hashtags & trending topics all day just to troll those who had different views, now they have the capability to create lists and pass them around. I'm really not sure the lists are such a great idea and I can see a lot of otherwise open folks needing to protect their tweets at some point in the future.

  • Oh, this is quite awkward.

    You see, @thebloggess is on my 'bloggersiwanttosleepwith' list. That makes you the competition.

    I am on a bunch of "Jew" lists as well, so you know that I've got the brotherhood of the.. accountants and tax attorneys who have my back.

  • plainJon

    What if your'e a nice guy but not good looking and not funny or articulate. Your'e on no lists but your'e still not a douchebag?

  • list is the new follow

  • That is what is has come to. Until people start trading "lists" we're okay, but there's going to be a point where jackasses start doing that too.

    If a list has more than 150 people, it is bogus (unless it's a list of douchebags on Twitter).

    Even if the dbags figure out a way to start trading lists, we'll be able to see if the lists are bogus or not.

  • This goes way beyond the dbags.

    There are many small business people trying out Twitter. In every class I teach, they as "how do you get followers?" and are disappointed that they can't buy them. They just haven't yet understood that this ia not another ad medium.

    The same will happen with lists, or anything that comes up.. someone will see Scoble talk about lists and decide they want to be on a list. They will read this post and see that being on a list is cool (they won't use "list/follwer" ratio) and they will spend hours asking friends to list them.

    2 years ago, I heard people say "This is ruining Twitter".. heard the same about other technology too. (BBS operators talking more about what "should" be than adding any value).

    Through it all, we have conversations with real people.. and life goes on.

  • Warren, have you explored in your class the concept of writing something informative or funny that a reader in the target market can use or profitably think about? The new "elevator pitch" is 140 chars long and reads well on an SMS display, complete with link.

  • Tim

    You are right. Good content is good content.. even in just 140 characters.

    I've written many thousands of tweets, status messages and short copy for email, business cards, etc. What works best is human to human engagement.

    Sometimes, just a simple "Hello" or "Thank You" will make that person's day. And who would you rather buy from?

    This is business. I tweet as part of my brand, but it's also human. After all, business is conducted between human beings, regardless of the technology.

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