Tool Review: Looking at List.ly

by | Aug 29, 2014

At a recent conference, an attendee asked me: “Is there a Twitter list for this event?”
 
That question took me on a journey that led to List.ly, and opened up a range of other list-based opportunities for event amplification.
 
In this post, we examine the potential of List.ly and look at how it can be used to enhance amplified events.

 

List.ly describes itself as a way to discover and create great lists. It aims to help users to share interests, engage an audience, and collaborate to create, curate and share.

Here’s a quick demonstration:
 

 

List.ly Features

 
The key features of List.ly are:

  • Collaboratively create, curate and share lists of online resources
  • Embed lists anywhere on the web
  • Search lists easily to discover content
  • Monitor social actions related to list items, including likes, dislikes, and shares

It is a fairly simple proposition, but could be really useful in a number of event contexts.

 

Uses of List.ly at Amplified Events

Twitter Lists

One of the main uses for List.ly in an event context is to revitalise your Twitter Lists.

Twitter Lists are really valuable resources, but often neglected at events as they can be a pain to set up and maintain, especially when a million and one other things seem to be higher priority. There is also no discernible way of measuring how much impact they have made.

List.ly allows event amplifiers to invite the audience to contribute to the list, and to share and embed it more easily. The other major benefit is that List.ly shows how many views the list has received, making it easier to measure the impact of the list.

If you have collected Twitter IDs as part of your event registration process, the List.ly interface also allows you to upload them in bulk, saving a lot of time and effort!

Full details about how to sync your Twitter lists with List.ly can be found here.

Crowdsourcing a curated list of resources

A gathering of your event community is a really good opportunity to harness their shared knowledge and create some really useful resources. Whether it is a collection of useful blog posts about the conference topic or a list of resources for the sector – you can challenge your attendees (remote and local) to build a list that will help the wider community and put your event on the map.

You can also use List.ly to list the key players in your event’s sector. It is really useful to know who the key ‘hubs’ in the community are and to make them feel special. If you have gone to the trouble of mapping who these people are to target them as part of your event marketing, make sure you share that information to help your delegates connect to the right people. The ‘hubs’ or key players will also benefit, as these are often the people that thrive on making connections – both for themselves and between others.

Supporting your local audience

Event amplification doesn’t always have to be about the remote audience.

If you want to encourage face-to-face social networking at and around your event, using online social tools like List.ly can be a great way to support that activity and can help to capture the key conversation triggers along the way!

You could use List.ly to create a curated list of informal meetings between of delegates interested in particular topics during the event, or to highlight regional groups where delegates can continue the conversation.

You could also use it for more social purposes, including identifying good pubs, bars or restaurants around your event venue. I often see requests for recommendations on Twitter, and whilst some event organisers are great at providing useful information on their websites, the ability to update a list and share recommendations as the event progresses can simplify this process and help with community building.

Making your event website a resource hub

Embedding dynamic lists within an event website can help you turn your event website into a useful resource hub for local and remote attendees. Pulling amplified event resources together is important if you want your event website to have a use beyond the event itself.

After the event there are usually lots of disparate resources to pull together. If you use static web pages to present this information, you could find yourself updating these pages every time you find something valuable that you missed prior to publication.

Rather than creating definitive lists of resources, an embedded List.ly list could streamline the process, and allow attendees to add their own resources on an ongoing basis. This will reduce the amount of time you spend trawling for attendee blog posts and useful links.

 

Watch Out For….

 
Overall, List.ly is a straight forward tool to use, so there are no major pitfalls to report. However, there are a few general points to be aware of when choosing how to use List.ly within your wider event amplification strategy…

  • Adding Context: When adding an item to a list, you have the option to add your own description of the resource you are listing. This gives you a space to explain why you have added an item and why it is useful, where appropriate. It can add an extra step, but may make your list more useful.
  • Spam: Whilst I have not come across any reports of spamming problems on public List.ly lists, it is always important to assess the risk of spam or inappropriate postings. If you think this may be an issue, remember to check the ‘moderate items’ option in the advanced list settings.
  • Pro Options: If you want to have more advanced moderation options, to keep your list private or to allow your team to access the list settings, then you will need to purchase a pro account at $9.99 per month. That said, the options offered by the free account cover most use cases, and I have not yet found anything that I really needed a pro account to do.
  • Integration: There is no IFTTT channel for List.ly as yet, so if you like using clever automated recipes to connect your online actions, your out of luck at the moment.

 

Conclusions

 
I can see List.ly being a really useful tool for certain aspects of event amplification, and it is definitely worth considering how it could be used to streamline certain event amplification processes and bring a social dimension to tasks that might otherwise fall to the organiser or amplifier.

To experiment further, I am launching a List.ly collection of event amplification tools, embedded on this website under the ‘Tools’ menu using the List.ly WordPress plugin. I chose to use the plugin as it allows me to embed lists in a more SEO-friendly way than the javascript embed code available directly from the website. The embed doesn’t appear to pick up my website’s style sheet, but the appearance is not not bad.

I will be adding to this as I discover new tools that could be applied to events in imaginative ways. I very much welcome your contributions and comments.

P.S

After writing this post I have been chatting to List.ly co-founder, Nick Kellet, on Twitter. He mentioned that the Twitter list feature will become a Pro List.ly. However, anyone can make up to three free pro lists. Thanks for clarifying, Nick!

P.P.S

There’s more information about how List.ly can make Twitter lists more useful in this blog post.
 
Image Credit: Stacy Spensley.

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