MY ❤️ AFFAIR WITH LISTAPP

The other day, @originalamericantreat made a list in which she invited people to ask me questions. This list is my response. I'm simultaneously flattered, excited and slightly embarrassed to write this, but I'll try. I'm glad y'all seem to feel like I'm spreading The Love, though. Because that's what I tryin' to do!
  1. WHY DO I FOLLOW SO MANY PEOPLE ON @list?
  2. For me, this question has many answers. First, I want to read lots of lists! I sincerely enjoy it. And, believe it or not, even though I follow over 3,000 people, it is not hard to keep up throughout the day. Many of the folks I follow haven't written *any* lists. Other people write 1 to 2 lists per day. So I refresh and there are a few new lists.
  3. Second, this is, at present, my main social media outlet. I don't have Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram. I very rarely Tumblr, and have been neglecting Twitter big-time. All of this allows me a singular focus here, which is kind of refreshing, if you want to know the truth.
  4. Third, I'm really enthusiastic about the format and intimacy found herein. And I get a lot out of it. I learn things. I connect with people. I love the ways everyone is pushing the format...photo essays, short stories, rants, recipes. The possibilities are endless.
  5. Until recently, I just wasn't getting enough lists to feed my list appetite, so I kept following more people. I've slowed down a bit of late, though, and am trying to be more selective. I can only read so many "5 THINGS I GOOGLED" lists. 😉
  6. HOW DO I HAVE TIME TO BE SO ACTIVE ON HERE?
  7. As I said, it's my only social media. So my attention isn't fractured. Also, I'm self-employed and spend most of my day silently (and happily) coding away in my home office. This leaves plenty of time and opportunity to refresh ListApp and see what's/who's new.
  8. Also, my "engagement" in ListApp has thus far been a feedback loop: When I follow, I get followed back. When I Like or Re-List or comment, I get the same in return. This is unusual for me in social media, and I am succeptible as any human in feeling gratified by this endorphin rush and validation. So I keep doing it.
  9. In short, the time I put into ListApp is worth it. It adds value and joy to my days. I sometimes worry that this will change dramatically when ListApp "goes public" but...I guess that's inevitable? Anyway, live in the moment, amirite?
  10. WHAT DOES IT MEAN WHEN I 'LIKE' YOUR LIST?
  11. It means I really, truly liked reading it. It gave me something: Either it taught me something, it made me feel something, it helped me connect with you, it made me feel connected to humanity or some combination of the above.
  12. WHAT DOES IT MEAN WHEN I 'RELIST' YOUR LIST?
  13. That I super-extra-mega liked your list. I read a lot of lists, and many of them blend together. But some lists stand out...they transcend the format. They are unique/unlike other lists that have come before. They reveal something interesting or touching about the list author. These kinds of lists deserve the attention of others. So I Re-list.
  14. I also Re-list lists that are memorable. Garrison Keillor once said (in the intro to a collection he edited, GOOD POEMS) that the best poems, in his view, were the ones that were Memorable. Not clever or filled with symbolism or technically complicated. MEMORABLE. He's right. It's the same mojo that makes an ad jingle stick in your head.
  15. Also, and I don't know really how this happened, but I've ended up with a lot of followers. So when I see a list I love, especially by a new user, I feel a twinge of glee Re-listing it because I know that I've helped to spread the goodness of it to others. And I can't tell you how tickled I am when I Re-list something that trends.
  16. Sooooo...if you feel like I'm ListApp loving on you a bit, it is because I am! I'm not saying we should get ListApp engaged or ListApp elope or anything, but I am loving on you. I'm glad you can feel it. I've felt that myself, and it's GREAT.
  17. HOW DO I HAVE SO MUCH TIME TO WRITE LISTS?
  18. I think I've sort of answered this already above, yeah?
  19. WHAT DO I FIND LIST-SPIRING?
  20. I'll take this to mean "how do I come up with lists?" The answer is: I don't know! The Muse strikes me. And when that happens, I start a draft. It has been a blast to think of new things to list about, how to push the format, how to engage with others using Open Lists. In every one of my lists I try to inform, make you feel, surprise and delight.
  21. So if you read one of my lists and feel something, learn something or feel connected, then I have succeeded. I try not to waste your time with lists like "HEY HERES TWO TUNA SANDWICHES I ATE" though I do respect that lists can be about anything.
  22. I want you to want to remember my lists. I want you to want to Save them and come back to them. Not because of ego, but because that's the goal of any writer...to connect with readers. There's nothing more demoralizing for a writer than the prospect of no audience. Every time I open a book of a long-dead writer, they are alive again, in a sense,
  23. while I read their book. So when you read one of my lists, *I* am alive. That is maybe one of the more cheesy and sentimental things I've written in some time, but it is so true for me as a writer.
  24. HOW DO I KNOW YOUR SOUL? AM I PSYCHIC?
  25. A question from @maggiebard. Well, you know, I don't. But I get to know you through your lists. And if I want to know more, I can creep on you using Google. Which I did with you. And I saw you painting liquor barrels and I saw all your excellent drawings. And I knew I needed to see your list of ghost drawings.
  26. And I like to dig deeper. If I read something in a list that I want to hear more about, I request a list about it. Like when I asked @originalamericantreat about her criminal record or @sally about crazy stuff she's seen being a doctor. And in both cases, I was blown over with the amazing, honest, colorful sharing I received just by asking. Thanks.
  27. HOW MANY DRAFT LISTS DO I HAVE?
  28. Ummmmm. 40. Is that a lot? What? @alissamaynot
  29. AM I A ROBOT?
  30. I don't know. Someone give me a Turing Test and we'll find out. Or ask @mlb or @gwcoffey or @evan who have met me IRL for their opinion. Though FYI they may also be robots.
  31. AM I AN EXTENSION OF BJ NOVAK'S PERSONALITY?
  32. Nope. I don't know @bjnovak personally, but if he ever finds himself in Carrboro, NC, I will offer to take him to get barbecue brisket, cole slaw and drive-through biscuits.
  33. I'm also not officially linked to @list in any way. I'm just on here having fun. Making lists. Taking names. Looking for an angry fix.
  34. AM I REMEMBERING TO TAKE MY MEDS?
  35. A question from @elooto. LOL. I often order 6-shot Americanos. Maybe I need to cut back to 3-shots. Thoughts?
  36. HOW DO I TYPE SUPER-LONG LISTS ON THE IPHONE KEYBOARD?
  37. I don't always! I also loaded TheListApp onto an iPad and have an almost-full-sized Bluetooth keyboard attached to it. That's how I wrote this list. Sooooo much easier. @evanp
  38. THE END
  39. I'll leave it at that. I think TheListApp is a [non-denominational] blessing and I'm thrilled to be one tiny tiny part of it. I will try to answer some of your other questions in future lists!
  40. Others who asked questions or made comments: @Nicholas @sloan @sky @dr_beexo @bobbyhundreds @originalamericantreat