The Twitter Book
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Released: April 2009
Pages: 240

"Media organizations should take note of Twitter's power to quickly reach their target consumers." --Tim O'Reilly (@timoreilly), in a Los Angeles Times interview, March 2009

This practical guide will teach you everything you need to know to quickly become a Twitter power user. It includes information on the latest third party applications, strategies and tactics for using Twitter's 140-character messages as a serious--and effective--way to boost your business, as well as how to turn Twitter into your personal newspaper, tracking breaking news and learning what matters to you and your friends.

Co-written by Tim O'Reilly and Sarah Milstein, widely followed and highly respected twitterers, the practical information in The Twitter Book is presented in an innovative, visually rich format that's packed with clear explanations and examples of best practices that show Twitter in action, as demonstrated by the work of over 60 twitterers.

This book will help you:

  • Use Twitter to connect with colleagues, customers, family, and friends
  • Stand out on Twitter
  • Avoid common Twitter gaffes and pitfalls
  • Build a critical professional communications channel with Twitter--and use the best third-party tools that help you manage it.

If you want to know how to use Twitter like a pro, The Twitter Book will quickly get you up to speed.

About the authors:

Tim O Reilly (@timoreilly), founder and CEO of O Reilly Media, has hundreds of thousands of followers on Twitter. Sarah Milstein (@SarahM) frequently writes, speaks and teaches about Twitter; she was the 21st user of Twitter.

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by PowerReviews
O'Reilly MediaThe Twitter Book
 
4.7

(based on 3 reviews)

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100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Accurate (3)
  • Easy to understand (3)
  • Helpful examples (3)
  • Well-written (3)

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Intermediate (3)
    • Novice (3)

    Reviewed by 3 customers

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    (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    How do you spell IRREPLACEABLE

    By vistalady

    from Southern California

    About Me Graphic Designer, Newsletter editor, Writer

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Abbreviations
    • Accurate
    • Concise
    • Definitions
    • Easy to understand
    • Expert advice
    • Helpful examples
    • How to
    • References
    • Resources
    • Social networking
    • Twitter
    • Well-written

    Cons

    • Needs updating

    Best Uses

    • Expert
    • Intermediate
    • Novice
    • Student

    Comments about O'Reilly Media The Twitter Book:

    This is less a review than my personal comments about the book. I was a Twitter user long before I read it. Then someone sent me the book.

    As I looked it over, I realized it was packed with facts and details about Twitter for users that I never knew. As soon as I read them, I went to Twitter and put a few into practice!

    There actually is not an official manual by Twitter about Twitter that I know of. Everyone starts out with the same lack of information as I did -- unless they have knowledgeable friends. I found mine in this Twitter book.

    The book is attractive, has short chapters and is easy reading; and yet, it is jam packed with references, resources, and how to information.

    Having read it from cover to cover, I sent it to a friend. After a week, I was missing it! There are items in it that I needed to reread to refresh my memory. Some things I had no interest in at the time I read the book, only to realize that they would really come in handy at the present time.

    So, I ordered the book. For myself this time.

    (2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    BOOKS ABOUT BELLS AND WHISTLES

    By Babette

    from Marin County, CA

    About Me Educator

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Accurate
    • Easy to understand
    • Helpful examples
    • Well-written

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Intermediate
      • Novice

      Comments about O'Reilly Media The Twitter Book:

      BOOKS ABOUT BELLS AND WHISTLES
      by
      Babette Bloch, Golden Gate Computer Society

      It's bad enough having to relearn favorite programs every time an upgrade comes along, worse learning to use totally new programs when you break down and buy them. But, now we're expected to learn how to use social networks, telephone and cloud-ware applications that come knocking at our Email doors and entice us from magazines and blogs.

      Change may be good if you can hack the rate of change in computer-related products. It probably provides financial stimulation for devils who produce these newest banes of our computing existence and may even help the publishing industry, which cranks out books galore covering all things new that complicate our lives. Following are a few good ones that caught my eye over the summer:

      This book was written by Tim O'Reilly and Sarah Milstein. That's THE Tim O'Reilly, founder of O'Reilly Media and Sarah Milstein, former O'Reilly editor. Who'd a thought that these two talented grownups actually tweet all the time?!

      First, you gotta get that syntax right...Twitter is the program a tweet is the message itself, or can be a verb, describing what you do when you send a Twitter message. This 8"x6" mini-tome gleefully demystifies how to tweet on twitter, its procedures, and almost convinced me I should try it one of these days. (Who ARE these people who check Twitter all day long? How do they manage to slog through their Email, follow multiple blogs and possibly earn a living? OTOH, maybe Twitter is the modern answer to unemployment - misery loving company so much.)

      The authors show us what Twitter is good for (beyond spending hours reading what people can say in 140 typed characters about eating lunch or walking down the street) and how to make it produce actual information beyond trivia. The terminology alone is a whole new subject area. Who knew from hashtags before reading this book? (It's a term, prefixed by the # symbol, that helps people categorize messages in Twitter). Evidently, once you get beyond the novelty of following the rich and famous who might be madly tweeting, there is actually serious information and news to reap from knowing how to navigate Twitter. In fact, it's famous for letting people know about serious emergency situations before the news breaks in other media. The Iran demonstrations were tweeted world-wide from almost the moment they started.

      This book is well written and fun to read. It has illustrations and examples of what you see on twitter (or as text messages on your phone if you tweet that way), and how to communicate there yourself. Serious people are using Twitter to connect with colleagues, customers, family and friends, and this book tells you in great detail how to do it, how to avoid spam when tweeting, and generally how to use Twitter "like a pro". Hmm - if your tweet falls in the forest, will anyone read it?

      (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Best Way to Get Up to Speed with Twitter

      By irisonthego

      from Tucson, AZ

      About Me Designer, Educator, Technical Writer

      Pros

      • Accurate
      • Concise
      • Easy to understand
      • Full of great resources
      • Helpful examples
      • Well-written

      Cons

      • No shortcomings

      Best Uses

      • Intermediate
      • Novice

      Comments about O'Reilly Media The Twitter Book:

      I signed up for a Twitter account last December in order to take advantage of a SitePoint PDF book give-away. I really didn't know much about it at the time, just that it was a tool for broadcasting brief messages, but not a spam generator. Since that time I've been hearing terms like 'tweet' and 'retweet' on the local news and in real-time conversations. However, I still didn't really get it. The Twitter Book, by Tim O'Reilly and Sarah Milstein, to the rescue! They very neatly break down Twitter into easy to digest concepts and features in this O'Reilly publication. The service is explained succinctly in large type on the right page and illustrated by a variety of screen shots on the left page, no information overload.What is Twitter? Briefly and simply put, it is a communication service. It debuted in March of 2006 as Twttr and a 'Big Bang' of users and messages has since followed. Messages sent and received are limited to 140 characters, including spaces. At last, a way to force folks to get to the point, any point! Your messages are public, meaning that everyone on Twitter can see them. So, think before you tweet. You choose whether or not to receive other's messages (called 'following'). Messages can be sent and received using a variety of technologies.From the authors; 'Twitter poses the question, "what are you doing?" What's Twitter good for? Breaking news and shared experiences. Finally, Twitter is emerging as a key business channel …'So, what more is there to know? Admittedly, I felt I wasn't quite getting into the 'meat' of it by just signing up at [@]. That's what pages 19 through 231 are all about. For those of us of the not-quite-now-gen, not to worry, you won't think that you're Alice entering Wonderland. However, joining in at Twitterland does involve learning some Twitter jargon and syntax and learning to use shortened vocabulary.This succinct insight into Twitter is divided into six chapters. Getting Started introduces you to some Twitter basics and key terms. Listen In provides some search skills for finding the 'good stuff' to listen in on. Hold Great Conversations is about contributing to conversations using a secure, clear, respectful and helpful approach. Share Information and Ideas presents suggestions for making the most out of those 140 characters messages. Sub-title this section 'How to get noticed for being interesting'. There are tips for broadening your audience such as using links to your advantage, posting your picture, the best days to post, get the book for more! Reveal Yourself describes ways to create a sense of 'meaningful intimacy'. My favorite suggestions here are 'Spiff up your background: Part 1 & Part 2', which are about the visual tweaks you can add to your account page. Lastly is Twitter for Business: Special Considerations and Ideas. The intro page lists links to companies on Twitter and suggests two providers for facilitating internal micro-messages for organization networks. This section builds on everything already discussed and enhances points of particular pertinence to a business setting. It seems to me that being encouraged to communicate in a clear, concise, and uncharged manner (covered in the previous sections of this book) can only enhance an organizations efficiency and effectiveness.There are gobs of links for extending Twitter functionality and curiosity. You can 'tweet up', or to put it another way, organize an in-person gathering using [@]. Follow the most currently popular words or phrases being twittered about. Using a site such as whatthetrend.com gives a quick blurb on why a word is trending. [@] you can view the hottest trends over a variety of time periods. Icons indicate a rise, fall or static standing and for more info, there are links to Twitter Search, Google News and Yahoo! News.Here are two personal 'best pics' that caught this newbie's eye:(pg 91) Life-changing program #1: TwirlThis is a free desktop appliance that streams tweets with built-in URL shortening and automatic searching for your username in any posts, a very nice interface and great documentation accessed through the [@] website!(pg 370) Shorten and customize your links with Bit.lyIn addition to shortening URLs this service also tracks click-throughs. And, there's an extension for adding a bit.ly button to the Firefox toolbar!In Summary:Do you sense your life twittering into cyberspace? That 140 character limitation does a great job of curtailing excessive and time-consuming posts. However, limiting how many people to follow is up to you. You'll find this brief volume is the best way to get up to speed with Twitter and have some fun with it.

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