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52 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Power, simple, elegant guide to the what, why, and how questions of Twitter
When I read, appropriately enough on Twitter, that Tim O'Reilly and Sarah Milstein had written The Twitter Book, I couldn't wait to scoop up a copy. Literally. So I sent a message to the book's Twitter account and asked if I could get an early copy to review. The book is so clear and concise, so necessary to the social media world, that I wondered why on Earth it has...
Published on May 15, 2009 by C. Avampato

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Outdated
This book needs updating. It's outdated. Don't buy for Kindle; you can't read the illustrations. You can if you read it on a computer. Don't misunderstand, the book is not devoid of useful information; it's just three years old and you know that's an eternity in cyberspace. A raw beginner may find some useful information for their $5 Kindle purchase.
Published on October 5, 2012 by William


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52 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Power, simple, elegant guide to the what, why, and how questions of Twitter, May 15, 2009
This review is from: The Twitter Book (Paperback)
When I read, appropriately enough on Twitter, that Tim O'Reilly and Sarah Milstein had written The Twitter Book, I couldn't wait to scoop up a copy. Literally. So I sent a message to the book's Twitter account and asked if I could get an early copy to review. The book is so clear and concise, so necessary to the social media world, that I wondered why on Earth it has taken so long for this kind of book to be written. Tim and Sarah are the perfect people to publish this type of work, both experts in the tool itself and in the art of communication. We're lucky to have them.

The Twitter Book is appropriate for people who've never heard of Twitter, who don't understand it, who like the concept though aren't sure how to use it, and for Twitter addicts like me. Whether you're an individual looking to build your own personal brand on-line, someone who is considering starting a business, or part of a large company, the book is chock full of ideas, resources, and helpful advice.

I recommend getting a copy of this book and using it as a constant reference the same way you'd use any top-rate how-to guide. I also found that it was incredibly helpful to have my computer in front of me so I could actually experiment with the different tips and resources that Tim and Sarah suggest. Within the pages of the book I also found a few other great people to follow on Twitter.

From a personal brand building stand-point, I found dozens of great ideas in The Twitter Book. (For those interested in how The Twitter Book helps business brand building, please see my Business Strategies column on Examiner.com.) Here are three of my favorite ideas to give you a flavor of what awaits you in this book:

1.) Twitter gives you the opportunity have superhuman powers you've always wanted: you can read people's minds and overhear conversations as if you're a fly on the wall.

2.) The art of brevity and timing is priceless. Highest traffic days are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, business hours in EST. That's when the most links, ideas, and thoughts get replies (direct messages - dms - or @ messages) and passed around ("re-tweeted"). People need to see your message ("tweet") within 5 minutes of you posting it or they likely won't see it at all. And make it concise and interesting because you've only got 140 characters to get your point across.

3.) Jargon explained. I hate to be in acronym city. I think a lot of people use acronyms and catch-phrases to make themselves seem better informed than anyone else around. It annoys me. Twitter is no exception. A lot of people scratch their heads when they hear words like "tweet", "tweeple", and "tweetup". I don't blame them. I did the same thing and for a long while the jargon scared me off. I belonged to Twitter for a year and was mostly inactive before I figured out why it mattered and how it could be useful to me. The most valuable reason to pick up The Twitter Book is to have experts Tim and Sarah explain the jargon in very straight-forward terms, and then show you how the tool can be a very powerful part of your overall brand-building toolkit.

Before Tim and Sarah even get the discussion going in the book, they ask for suggestions to improve and enhance the content. The book has given me a lot of great ideas and I want to return the favor to them with a few ideas to consider for the next edition.

1.) For people brand new to Twitter, a glossary of terms would be very helpful.

2.) A set of easy to reference lists in the appendix would be handy. Common mistakes to avoid on Twitter, top companies using Twitter effectively, etc.

3.) An expanded section on how non-profits can use Twitter. It is briefly touched on in the book and I'd love to learn more from Tim and Sarah on new ideas that are particular to nonprofits that would help organizations increase awareness through Twitter.

4.) A resource directory, divided up into sections, in the appendix would be handy. For example, a list of third party programs, resources to help trim messages that are over 140 characters, etc.

An easy and endlessly helpful resource, The Twitter Book will accelerate the growth and power of Twitter. Generous and honest, Tim and Sarah skillfully help their readers take part in the conversation.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Twittter-essential!, June 13, 2009
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This review is from: The Twitter Book (Paperback)
I have an O'Reilly Safari account and read this book online.

I had tried Twitter and was frankly disappointed. I just didn't see what all the shouting was about.

Then I read the Twitter Book and my life changed. I know what the shouting is about. Many ways of using Twitter are shown -- indispensable tools!

This book, which is co-written by THE O'Reilly of the famous O'Reilly Books, is not just ABOUT Twitter, it is a revolutionary publication all by itself, because of how it is written.

It is written for people in a Twitter-type hurry and need for quick, simple information. I read it on my Nokia N800 little computer, but am sending off for a hard copy now to show my friends.

This is the no-BS book you are dreaming about. Don't miss it.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Painless and Fun Way to Learn Twitter, June 3, 2009
This review is from: The Twitter Book (Paperback)
The recent Twitter hype has gotten a lot of people interested in the relatively new micro-blogging site, but upon visiting twitter.com, many just scratch their heads. Some common sentiments are "What value could there be in Twitter?" and "Twitter seems downright silly." In response to this pervasive confusion, Tim O'Reilly and Sarah Milstein have written The Twitter Book, which proclaims one primary message: Twitter is an enormously useful communication tool with potential for both personal and business use.

I liked what I found in the book's 6 succinct (full color!) chapters. The introduction and "Get Started" chapter describe exactly what Twitter is useful for, explain how to get your profile set up, and demystify key Twitter jargon and conventions. The following "Listen In" chapter discusses Twitter trends and how to track them; searching on Twitter; "life-changing" programs for keeping track of your tweets; and finding and following people.

The "Hold Great Conversations" chapter gives some excellent tips on how to effectively and properly communicate with other Twitterers. The "Share Information and Ideas" chapter offers some thoughts on what to tweet and how to be interesting. The "Reveal Yourself" chapter encourages personal tweets and customizing your Twitter account.

One of my favorite chapters is "Twitter for Business," which provides guidance for businesses interested in using Twitter. There are some good examples here of things businesses should and shouldn't do on Twitter.

As a newcomer to Twitter, I found this little book extremely easy to read, understand, and apply. If I'm going to delve into the more advanced uses of Twitter, however, I'm going to need additional resources. The Twitter Book is not a tome on the intricacies of applying Twitter to business; rather, think of this book as a quick introduction for anyone and everyone curious about Twitter.

In a nutshell, The Twitter Book tells you what you need to know in order to successfully tweet, gain followers, and--most importantly--find value in Twitter. I highly recommend this book. Read it, enjoy it, and start tweeting!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent and totaly enjoyable book, June 17, 2009
This review is from: The Twitter Book (Paperback)
This book literally changed my life, I had been a Twitter user for over 1 month with only 2 meaningless tweets, and I had no idea what the fuss was all about, I felt Twitter was just another "time-consumer" and "privacy-invading" web site, but this book totally changed my mind about Twitter and I became a Twitter-O-Holic in just 2 days.

The book is very easy to read, the 234 pages could be completed in under 1 hour, Tim and Sarah use a very easy and fun language, and it was a very enjoyable experience reading this book as much as it has been fun and very beneficial applying the tips mentioned in the book.

I would recommend this book to any new Twitter user just the same as I would recommend it to veterans, the book is full of cool tips and trick to transform you into a Twitter expert in no time.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good introduction, but will be outdated quickly, December 7, 2009
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This review is from: The Twitter Book (Paperback)
A good introduction to Twitter and many of the 3rd party tools that have sprung up around it. Definitely aimed at novice users. Also, I suspect this book will be dated quickly simply because the Twitter universe is evolving so rapidly that many of the tools mentioned will be superseded by better tools and the Twitter API itself is also evolving, helping to spawn more tools and features.

So if you are considering this book and it is more than 12 months old and there hasn't been a 2nd edition, I would probably look for something more recent.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent material for newbies and experienced Tweeters alike..., June 6, 2009
This review is from: The Twitter Book (Paperback)
I'm an active (some would say over-active) user of Twitter, and I couldn't pass up the chance to review O'Reilly's latest book on the subject... The Twitter Book by Tim O'Reilly and Sarah Milstein. Given what I had seen of it before it arrived, I was thinking it'd be a perfect book for newbies, but that I likely wouldn't get much out of it. WRONG! Even if you've been using Twitter for awhile, you'll find new tricks in here that will take your Twitter usage to a new level.

Contents:
Get Started; Listen In; Hold Great Conversations; Share Information and Ideas; Reveal Yourself; Twitter for Business - Special Considerations and Ideas; Index

I think the layout of the book is what first led me to believe that this was going to be "basic" stuff. On each two page spread, you have the subject matter on the right side, and screen prints or graphics on the left side. It's a perfect format for showing exactly what you're telling the reader, and the subject matter is short and to-the-point. If you were to sit down and decide to read straight through the 234 pages, you'd probably be done in a couple of hours, if that. But it's the gems I kept finding that slowed me down and caused me to significantly change my view of the material.

The chapter on getting started lays a solid groundwork for the person who is wondering what Twitter is all about. The terminology, guidelines, and basic features are all covered in enough detail to get the person started without overwhelming them. And it was here that I encountered the term "ambient intimacy", meaning that Twitter allows you to know what your friends are up to and dealing with, without the need to have to give them a call or apologize for not keeping current. The more I thought about it, the more it made sense. Twitter adds context and color to those I'm interested in.

Everything else in the book, from Listen In through Special Considerations, is where things started to get very interesting for me. I've not used Twitter Search a lot, but after understanding more about it, I'm hooked. Even more important, I learned about new sites where I could track trends in Twitter content, such as What The Trend and Twitscoop. If you're using Twitter to see what's going on in the world, these tools let you be on the bleeding edge of what's happening. I already use a Twitter client as opposed to the Twitter website, but I saw a few new options I might want to explore. I learned a number of etiquette tips on how best to retweet someone, especially if the basic retweet would go over the 140 character limit. I even found a few new options for my Twitter account that apparently were added after I set mine up, and I haven't noticed.

Oh, and if you run a business and you want to incorporate Twitter into your online presence? You can't afford to miss the chapter on Twitter for Business. It's not long, but it will keep you from making some mistakes that would make your corporate Twitter experience a disaster (and make you wish you had never gone down the path).

If you have the chance to read The Twitter Book, I would highly recommend it. I can only think of a few people I know on Twitter who would already know everything in the book. The vast majority (ie., the rest of us) would benefit tremendously.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Essential Guide to Tweeting, June 25, 2009
By 
Anastasia Beaverhausen (Where the Beavers Live) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Twitter Book (Paperback)
At first, I was a little skeptical...do you really need an entire book to explain a service that lets you micro-blog in 140 characters or less?

If you want to get the "most" out of your Twitter experience--especially if you are using Twitter for your business or for marketing purposes--then the answer is "yes". Tim O'Reilly and Sarah Milstein have created a book that's as visually pleasing and easy-to-read as it is helpful. It takes only an hour or so to read, but to get the most out of it you'll want to sit down at your computer and try out some of their tips.

If you're just curious about Twitter as a social phenomena, then this probably isn't the right book. It's more geared towards users than towards cultural anthropologists.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Outdated, October 5, 2012
By 
William "American" (Republic of California, USA) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Twitter Book (Kindle Edition)
This book needs updating. It's outdated. Don't buy for Kindle; you can't read the illustrations. You can if you read it on a computer. Don't misunderstand, the book is not devoid of useful information; it's just three years old and you know that's an eternity in cyberspace. A raw beginner may find some useful information for their $5 Kindle purchase.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The ONLY book to buy to learn about Twitter, June 29, 2009
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This review is from: The Twitter Book (Paperback)
I have only good words to write about this great book. It teaches everything one needs to know about Twitter! It is an easy read, EVERY page provides photo example of what the Author is describing, and it does not skip a thing.
If you need to learn everything about Twitter, you ought to purchase this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is what I imagine an "official" Twitter book should look like, September 10, 2010
This review is from: The Twitter Book (Paperback)
Twitter is one of the most dynamic and open social networking sites today. It is used by millions of people every day, which is pretty incredible for a site that allows you to only post 140 characters at a time. However, this apparent simplicity belies a very powerful online tool that can be used for a variety of purposes: keeping friends informed of your actions and whereabouts, finding out what your friends are up to, tracking news trends, finding information that even news sites have not yet published, and promoting yourself, your products or your business.

There are plenty of books out there on Twitter, but what impresses me about this one is that it strikes a perfect balance between an entertaining read and a useful resource filled with many useful and non obvious tricks and tips. The book is divided in six sections, covering things like setting up your account, "listening" to Twitter updates, conversing with various twitterers, sharing information and ideas, providing more information about yourself and a special section on Twitter for business use. On the facing side of each page there are a few interesting snapshots of actual Twitter posts. These sometimes serve to amuse, and sometimes to illustrate the points that are being discussed in the text. All of these illustrations are, just like the book itself, both amusing and useful.

If Twitter ever came up with their ow official book, it is hard to imagine how it would be much different than this one. I highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in making the most out of their Twitter experience.
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The Twitter Book
The Twitter Book by Sarah Milstein (Paperback - May 23, 2009)
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