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Twitterville: How Businesses Can Thrive in the New Global Neighborhoods

37 customer reviews
ISBN-10: 1591842794
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Shel Israel is a social media journalist and public speaker. He has contributed to,, and the Dow Jones Company. He is the coauthor with Robert Scoble of Naked Conversations: How Blogs Are Changing the Way Businesses Talk with Customers and author of The Conversational Corporation, a Dow Jones eBook.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Portfolio Hardcover (September 3, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591842794
  • ASIN: B003H4RAOK
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.1 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,777,579 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Shel Israel writes and speaks about technology's impact on business and life. He has been a keynote speaker on all continents not covered by ice.

Two previous works, Naked Conversations and Age of Context, were written with Robert Scoble, and are critically acclaimed best selling business books.

Israel's newest book, Lethal Generosity: Contextual Technology & the Cutting Edge is scheduled for release in September 2015. It is a sequel to Age of Context. While the former book focused primarily on the technology, the new work examines how that technology applies to retail and other public-facing businesses.

Israel has also contributed to Forbes, FastCompany, BusinessWeek, BusinessInsider, & Conferenza Premium Reports, an e-newsletter he co-founded.
Growing weary of the required writer's vow of poverty, Israel left writing to become a PR executive, where he ran his own agency for nearly 20 years. He returned to writing and speaking in 2001.

He is now a recovering publicist.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 30 people found the following review helpful By R. Morales on September 5, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I live in Silicon Valley and thus I am exposed to many new emerging technologies and with them the usual parade of so-called gurus and experts who parade around acting like a bunch of techno divas. A friend sent me an invite to a book signing event called Twitterville. I was interested in going yet a bit reluctant lest I encounter the typical fare of pseudo geeks too young to understand the internet's impact on society and too arrogant to admit their own shortcomings. So I decided to attend anyway and drag my reluctant wife along who did not like twitter and thought it was a mass of frivolous chirps from the socially incompetent in our society.

I made it a point to observe the book's author Shel Israel and witness his interactions with the people who stood on line to get their copies signed. I notice his warmth and authentic interactions with people on the line and to my amazement he engaged them in conversation. No made up smile and next, no rushing. He was enjoying interacting with people and sharing their perspectives on twitter. The line was growing longer so I decided to buy the book. I thought that someone as engaging as this, a true listener would have insights on Twitter that I may be interested in reading.

I was not disappointed. I purchased the book at the Twitterville event and I have been enthralled ever since by his brilliant insights and observations. The book reads like a fine novel with the story telling prowess of any of the best in the fiction genre. He recounts without adornment the way people have used Twitter in real life situations.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Ross Kimbarovsky on November 29, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Twitterville is different from the many Twitter books that have been published since 2007. This difference makes Twitterville a must read for any business that wants to leverage Twitter and doesn't know where to begin.

Here's why: Twitterville offers an outstanding insight, through case studies, into the different ways that individuals and businesses (large and small) have successfully leveraged Twitter. Importantly, even though it seems silly to talk about history when discussing Twitter (after all, Twitter is only 3 years old), this history is important because it shows the growing shifts in social activism and the increasing voice that loosely organized "groups" have gained when using Twitter to respond to marketing campaigns (and missteps) launched by brands. This history also shows that cultural norms - even for a 3 year old social network - continue to radically shift. What was acceptable in 2007 and 2008 (or if not acceptable, at least not visible) is met with criticism and anger in 2009.

Why should you care how others have leveraged Twitter? You should care because missteps on Twitter can create publicity nightmares for brands (and individuals). And while some brands even now continue to stay silent on Twitter, Shel correctly reminds us in the final chapter that: "Chances are that right now, there's a conversation going on in Twitterville that can impact what you do for a living."

Think about that for a moment. Historically, brands (mostly through agencies) closely guarded and controlled conversations about their products or services. Social networks have changed this dynamic, and Twitter has led this shift.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Douglas Karr on November 21, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've been a fan of Shel since he wrote Naked Conversations. That book was a book that motivated many of us in the marketing industry to begin shifting our focus to social media. It personally motivated me to leave database and direct marketing behind and set a goal to work in social media full time. I now have my own agency, DK New Media, doing just that.

Twitterville is a logical extension of Naked Conversations. It's well-written and digs deep on how companies have used (as well as haven't used) this new medium to their advantage. Twitter, whether you like it or not, is changing the world. People are thinking and reading in 140 characters or less. Companies are beginning to listen and open their doors to Twitter. The results are amazing and Shel has documented all of the amazing stories in a single volume... Twitterville.

This book is a must read for companies who "don't get" Twitter. It's a must read for Marketers who want to effectively use Twitter. And it's a great read for Twitter business users - providing them with priceless information on how to leverage the medium. Kudos to Shel for writing such an amazing book - the best book to date that I've found on the strategies behind Twitter!

Twitterville + Twitter for Dummies is the power combination for developing and executing strategies utilizing Twitter! Must reads for every business.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mark D. Drapeau on October 18, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Shel Israel should be proud of this book. Unlike other Twitter books (and other social media books) that are more like how-to manuals or guides for beginners, this book gets at the stories of people using Twitter - why they used it, how, and what happened. I know many of the people and stories in the book, and I still learned details and nuances that I didn't know before. For the casual tech reader, the burgeoning journalist, the marketing pro, and the sociologist all, this is a great tale.

When I give talks about new media, I'm fond of telling people that even if you memorized a how-to book about Twitter, you still won't know anything about Twitter, because a lot of it is about street smarts and experimentation and trial-and-error. Twitterville profiles people that have been through the trials-by-fire, have succeeded and failed, and generally have shared their knowledge - and indeed their lives - with audiences through this fascinating new technology.

You can also read a little about me in the book: I'm @cheeky_geeky!
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