[Product Review] Formulists: A Twitter Tool

In or around October or November, I noticed that more and more people would list me on Twitter using a tool called Formulists.  At first, I’ll admit, I was a little skeptical.

To a certain extent, it seemed like Formulists was a scam.  Twitter has its own list builder.  So, what would be the point of using a replica product?  Especially one that seemed to promote itself at every turn?  (How many times have you been added to a Twitter list and noticed that it was “generated by @formulists” in the description?)  Plus, Formulists is not a separate platform like Hootsuite or TweetDeck so I couldn’t see the added value.

Nevertheless, I was intrigued.

As someone who has spent a great deal of time building and tweaking her Twitter lists (see: my AMLAWTweeple project), this notion of self-updating lists piqued my curiosity.

After exploring the site for a few minutes, however, the benefits of Formulists weren’t readily apparent.  But, thankfully, Formulists uses Get Satisfaction, a feedback tool similar to UserVoice.  (More law firms should implement feedback tools, but more on that at another time.)

I sent off a request: “What is the benefit of Formulists? Why would I use it instead of Twitter’s list option?

I received an awesome response – and then a follow-up Power Point presentation(!) – from Natalie Michelson, Marketing Manager at Formulists, and I became a believer.

Her response:

Formulists is not actually meant to be used instead Twitter’s list option but rather to complement it.  A Formulists-made Twitter list, is still a Twitter list- viewable from your Twitter home page or client.  However, the benefit of using Formulists to make some or all of your Twitter lists, is that Formulists takes care of a lot of the hard work for you that is involved in both list creation and list maintenance.

As one classic example, making a “locals” list of the people you follow manually, would require you to click on the profile pages of each person you follow, see where they are from and then manually add them to your “locals I follow” list.  Using Formulists, you can filter all the people you follow by location within a minute  Additionally, Formulists-made lists update themselves daily so that if you follow another person from you city, they will automatically be added to this list too.

Because they are dynamic and automatically-updated, Formulists lists can also be used to do things Twitter lists couldn’t do in the past, like show you who recently unfollowed you or who your friends talk to most.  And because this information is being shown via a Twitter list, you can easily view and act on it from you Twitter client or homepage.

Here is one slide that I found particularly useful in the quick Power Point presentation she forwarded to me:

Mainly, I took Natalie’s advice and created lists to target potential clients by location.  While I didn’t delete my old lists, I now use a few private lists that are, yes, generated by @Formulists.

Do you use Formulists?  What do you think?

Further Reading:

How to Create a New Twitter List Within Hootsuite

Need a Kickstart into Twitter Lists?  Maybe Formulists Can Help You with That and I Have Invites

Twitter Lists: Legal Job Market

Enough has been said about using Twitter to find a job that I don’t feel the need to repeat it here.  For background reading and helpful tips targeted for a job search in the legal industry, I’d recommend Amanda Ellis‘s newsletter from September, 2009 (Attorneys Finding Jobs on Twitter).  She explains three ways in which attorneys can integrate Twitter into their job search.

Instead, I’d like to use this example – conducting a job search on Twitter – as a way to illustrate the benefits of using Twitter Lists to manage information. Continue reading