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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Lesson in Style - Shortened
I've read the book, 140 Characters, twice now and have become a better user of social media because of it. In my generation, we grew up with Myspace and blogging and the idea of social networking is just as common as a cell phone. all of my peers use Twitter but there was something missing.

I was a user but I knew there was more to this and more that could be...
Published on October 2, 2009 by Adam Jackson

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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars It's not really a style guide and the writing is not polished
This book is interesting for the fact that is was written by a venerable user of Twitter; One of Twitter's first employees in fact, @dom (Dom Sagolla).

As a book, it is lacking of a number of important things. It's not really about writing and style, but is more about how Sagolla's thinks you should use Twitter. This turns out to be an interesting thing to read...
Published on January 7, 2010 by Stephen Pepple


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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars It's not really a style guide and the writing is not polished, January 7, 2010
This review is from: 140 Characters: A Style Guide for the Short Form (Paperback)
This book is interesting for the fact that is was written by a venerable user of Twitter; One of Twitter's first employees in fact, @dom (Dom Sagolla).

As a book, it is lacking of a number of important things. It's not really about writing and style, but is more about how Sagolla's thinks you should use Twitter. This turns out to be an interesting thing to read about, but this is not the book's advertised subject matter. The writing style is terse and fragmentary, which makes many of the points inconclusive and confusing. As the book goes on it get increasingly less organized, and the overall cohesion and editing is poor.

A full review is here, [...]
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Shallow Look at the Short Form, June 9, 2010
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Dom Sagolla, one of the inventors and active promoters of Twitter, offers commentary on "the short form"--tweets and other tweet-sized snippets of text that have become the new way to communicate. Hoping to improve my Facebook status messaging skills, and impressed by Dom's web cred, I downloaded the Kindle version within a day of discovering this book's existence.

The major sections promise to show us how to LEAD, VALUE, MASTER, EVOLVE, and ACCELERATE. The three-layer table of contents supports the book's claim to be a style guide. The depth stops there. By the time the author revealed that he had prepared to write the book by sending brief ideas that occurred to him off to a special Twitter account for later assembly, I was not surprised. Giving lie to the structured outline, the book itself has a snippety, disjointed feel to it. This style works for tweets, but not for a full-length book that ought to contain smooth transitions and thoughtful integration.

There are some useful take-aways. The book begins with an informative history of Twitter's inception and evolution. Some good thinking went into the 12-stage "cycle of focus and distraction" experienced by Twitter users. There are inclusive lists of various language and text techniques. The book does stress basic writing concepts like simplicity, conciseness and attention to your audience. It warns against lying, rudeness, and naiveté. And it admonishes us with PC sincerity to never, ever post drunk.

Beyond its choppy presentation, how does it disappoint? By falling short. The author has much to say about style and developing one's voice. But the highest form of style it advocates is offering up a stream of glib one-liners and attracting followers who enjoy them. There is little on style in service of some more substantive message, be it personal, political, commercial or social. Such an expansion of focus would bring depth and utility that the book currently lacks. Too much of the material is standard writing advice, better presented elsewhere and only slightly adapted to the short form.

And, I am sorry to say it, the author's examples just aren't that clever. Yes, there are some good one-liners. But how do you write short form messages that entertain and invite engagement and response? During the time I spent reading this book, I learned more from the status messages of a few Facebook friends than I took away from the book's extensive collection of tweets past. I believe the author's understandable enthusiasm for the Twitter archive may have influenced his authorial judgment.

I recommend a quick look through this book at the library to satisfy your curiosity--and perhaps discover that you disagree with me. Then spend more time with something that will really improve your writing, like Susan Bell's The Artful Edit or Marc Kramer and Wendy Call's Telling True Stories. Neither focuses on the short form of writing. But you can use their insights to adapt to it on your own. In this book, the author advises us to "[t]hink of every tweet as an epitaph." Well said. Let this collection of tweets rest in peace.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Lesson in Style - Shortened, October 2, 2009
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This review is from: 140 Characters: A Style Guide for the Short Form (Paperback)
I've read the book, 140 Characters, twice now and have become a better user of social media because of it. In my generation, we grew up with Myspace and blogging and the idea of social networking is just as common as a cell phone. all of my peers use Twitter but there was something missing.

I was a user but I knew there was more to this and more that could be learned to effectively broadcast my message of "what I'm doing" to nearly 4 thousand followers. Dom Sagolla helped make that happen.

Sure I'm friends with Dom and may have gotten a copy of the text early but that doesn't mean I didn't learn something and now want to shout if from the rooftops.

140 Characters is for a person who is new to Twitter or who just celebrated their 3rd year of using the service. Of course, users of Facebook and Myspace aren't excluded. this book helps readers cultivate their story, engage their audience and capitalize on Twitter's impossible message limitations.

I say "impossible" because that's how I felt when joining Twitter. "140 characters? How am I going to post what I'm doing in such a small space?"

Well, over time, I adapted my own style and continue to improve on that. Dom's book merely took my hand and opened a few more doorways to explore. There are styles & processes that I never would have used and the only way to go beyond "using Twitter" and "mastering Twitter" is to read 140 Characters, stopping often to try what you just read.

The Kindle version is cheaper, portable and works on iPhone or Kindle. It's a great way to get the book NOW. However, the layout and design of the print version is excellent as well. Get both! :P
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Make Social Media Work for You with Style, November 3, 2009
This review is from: 140 Characters: A Style Guide for the Short Form (Paperback)
Different mediums require different mindsets. This book will show you the mindset for the short form of writing on the web.

A great guide book for writing on social networking sites. The author reviews different styles of writing which are needed for social networking websites. This book shows you what works well and what doesn't work well.

Comparisons to Ernest Hemingway and George Orwell adds some nice historical context and examines how these authors organized their thoughts and how to write clearly.

The book helps the writer focus on the substance and relevance of their writing and add impact to their writing. The book discusses the theory and shows the application of how to improve messages. There are some before and after examples which illustrate his points and show how the techniques work.

The book talks about marketing, strategies, audience analysis and the "cultural revolution" taking place because of services like Twitter.

Citizen journalism and first hand news accounts of events have helped accelerate the use of Twitter and short form communication. Many times the best news accounts are from ordinary citizens who get the story first or who provide continuous coverage of a major event 24 hours a day.

There are some great resources listed in the book to get the most out of Twitter and other social networking sites.

The book is broken down into five major parts.

Part 1 - Lead,

Describe: A brief digression to discuss journalism is warranted; Simplify: Say more with less; Avoid: Don't become a fable about too much information

Part 2 - Value,

Voice:Say it out loud; Reach: Understand your audience; Repeat: It worked for Shakespeare; Mention: Stamp your own currency; Dial: Search for silence, volume and frequency; Link: Deduce the nature of short messages; Words: Explore the possibilities in phraseology, poetry and invention

Part 3 - Master

Tame: Apply multiple technologies toward the same end; Cultivate: Meet 140 characters each with a unique story; Branch: Steady organic growth is most manageable;

Part 4 - Evolve

Filter: Teach the machine to think ahead; Open: Give and you shall receive; Imitate: There is nothing original except in arrangement; Iterate: Practice a sequence of tiny adjustments;

Part 5 - Accelerate

Increase: Do more; Fragment: Do it smaller;
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A review in less than 140 characters, October 16, 2009
By 
Rabble (Montevideo, Uruguay) - See all my reviews
This review is from: 140 Characters: A Style Guide for the Short Form (Paperback)
This book covers twitter from it's inception to how to use twitter today. Get the inside perspective from @dom. Def worth the read. #review
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If there is one book you should read about Twitter, this is it, May 17, 2011
This review is from: 140 Characters: A Style Guide for the Short Form (Paperback)
There are manuals on what buttons to press and guidelines on how to behave and even how to generate business contacts using Twitter.

This book is different. It guides you as what to say and how best to say it.

Brilliant, erudite, funny and a great read on a commute.

Sorry Amazon but the iPhone app version is even better than the print or Kindle version.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dive in to this before getting feet wet on Twitter, January 21, 2010
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This review is from: 140 Characters: A Style Guide for the Short Form (Paperback)
Written by one of the creators of Twitter, this book speaks to the brilliance of Twitter and developing the craftsmanship to maximize both it and one's communication skills. Indeed, simplicity takes both knowledge & practice. Start with the knowledge of both what to do and what not to do. You'll wish this had been a required course before anyone opened a Twitter account.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 140 Characters: A Style Guide for the Short Form, November 7, 2009
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This review is from: 140 Characters: A Style Guide for the Short Form (Paperback)
Thought provoking, educational, truly a great read! If you are new to Twitter or Social Media in general, this book is a must read. Great use of the current environment, also provides real life examples. @dom did a GREAT job with this and you can tell thought and heart went into the writing.
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3.0 out of 5 stars The Art of the tweet, August 17, 2011
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This review is from: 140 Characters: A Style Guide for the Short Form (Paperback)
I thought this book was written much like twitter's style. Short and concise with burst of wisdom, information, and knowledge.

Written by one of the original twitter creators,(actually the ninth person to have a twitter account)the author really understands what twitter was meant to be and what it has evolved into. It has become all things to all people. Enabling users to bring the internet with them where ever they go and no matter what activity they are doing, they can stay connected with followers and friends.

This book could have been called "The art of the tweet" author Dom Saggolla explains the newly created short form and all the styles that can be used to tweet your own 140 characters.

The short form consists of describing, simplifying and avoiding. Give enough information so people understand what you are talking about, simplify it as much as possible, and avoid giving too much information.

Tweets are a way to share real life, not a replacement for doing real activities.

Express yourself, find your own voice.

Tweet consistently so followers know your 'office' hours.

Use multiple accounts if you have different interests.

Know your audience and tweet on topic.

Be funny and have fun.

The book is filled with many examples of great tweets and examples of different forms of writing and techniques to build your own tweets.

This book is a nice addition to your social media library, a quick read with tweet tips from someone there from the beginning.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Makes you think, not so much act..., February 12, 2010
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This review is from: 140 Characters: A Style Guide for the Short Form (Paperback)
This book is not so much about tips and tricks, but getting one to think differently (or, pardon the cliche, outside the box) and to be thoughtful relative to "the short form" of online writing. It gave me some great ideas and reinvigorated my interest in social media.
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140 Characters: A Style Guide for the Short Form
140 Characters: A Style Guide for the Short Form by Dom Sagolla (Paperback - October 12, 2009)
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