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on November 29, 2009
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. Through case studies, Shel shows how big brands (including Dell, Jetblue, Comcast, American Airlines, U-Haul) and small brands (including Seesmic, StockTwits and my company, crowdSPRING) reacted to these changes (some leveraging the opportunities to strengthen their brands, while others failing miserably and tarnishing their brands). While there's still a great deal of confusion about how companies can fully and sincerely use Twitter, there's little doubt that some brands could benefit from interacting with their customers on Twitter.

If you're not interested in business case studies and stories, Twitterville has plenty to keep you interested. For example, Shel writes about how individuals - including, among others, Jeremiah Owyang (@jowyang) and Chris Brogan (@chrisbrogan) - have built personal brands using Twitter. Other chapters cover Twitter's impact on journalists, politicians, and charitable fundraising, among other topics.

This isn't a how-to book. Those looking for a list of top 10 things you can do to increase Twitter followers won't find such a list in Twitterville. However, those looking to understand how to succeed (or avoid failure) on Twitter will learn much from reading this book.
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on November 21, 2009
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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on January 23, 2010
Israel has a broad understanding of public relations and corporate marketing strategies, and frankly, it shows here. If you're looking to create a social media marketing plan, this book is certain to give you some new ideas. In fact, I would be surprised if "Twitterville" didn't stimulate some new methods and techniques that you can implement with your own business.

You will learn about what some businesses are doing right when it comes to social media engagement (think Zappos and Comcast), and which ones missed the mark altogether. You will also read about customers who are forming groups of their own around specific brands.

At just under 300 pages, this is a relatively quick read, and Shel keeps things moving along by providing plenty of "real world" stories to illustrate his points. He did a great job of locating the stories themselves, then an even better job of distilling them into a holistic work that supports his thesis. Speaking of which, the main thrust here is that Twitter is a revolutionary business tool which serves to bring people together and makes things happen that might not otherwise have happened. In essence, the world is made smaller and more intimate. The full title is "Twitterville: How Businesses Can Thrive in the New Global Neighborhoods", which is appropriate.

Shel also covers the history of Twitter from its inception and its public debut at SXSW in 2007. I got a better feel for the guys who run the show by reading his take on them and their distinct personalities and backgrounds. He also details a handful of social media rockstars who are just plain doing things the right way, including Chris Brogan, Veronica Belmont, and others.

"Twitterville" will remain on my bookshelf as a reference, and I can't recommend it enough if you want to gain a better understanding of how Twitter serves to interconnect millions of lives, projects, and conversations.
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on November 18, 2011
I purchased this book after reading a different one The Facebook Effect: Publisher: Simon & Schuster. I really really liked that book.. It was witty and informative.

Twitterville on the other hand is not as good a read.. It lacks the sophistication and clear structured writing I would have appreciated as a reader.

However as I progressed through the book I was struck by a thought. Perhaps this was the main point for me (and the difference between the two companies) Twitter does not have the same purpose as Facebook. Twitter (as shown in the book) is more like conversation and so I cannot expect the book to read like a thought-out novel; but more like a conversation, first going this direction then back again.

I ended up appreciating the book more than I would have originally have thought. I don't know if I am going to be tweeting my life anytime soon but I do understand the phenomena betterhaving read this book.
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Enthusiast: Coloringon March 21, 2010
Great and easy read, and while I thought I was getting a book with tips on using Twitter, I actually got a story book with many delicious anecdotes on how others used Twitter - business, charities, government, and regular people.

The reason I bought the book was I couldn't figure out - why people would want to Twitter? Wouldn't it just be silly, uninteresting tweets about boring, mundane life events. I had heard about Twitter crowds (everyone is tweeted to show up at a place and time and peacefully meet with others for five minutes, then disperse). But - how could my business use this media? This book opened my eyes.

What you get with this book is ideas, points to ponder, little pieces of the puzzle that assist you in developing or spring-boarding your own ideas, or building upon others. Within days I had almost 25 followers, knew what to look for, what not to do (don't follow more twitterers than are approximately following you to avoid Twitter programmers from marking you as a spammer), etc. I would say this was one of the more entertaining "how-to" books I've purchased yet on Social Media Networking.

I would highly recommend using this for general knowledge, and use a highlighter to note unusual and interesting pieces, then go back afterwards to type up notes to use in your sales, marketing, and PR pieces as well as using a few of the sources such as websites to which the author alluded.

Good read - easy to read - good information.

Follow me: #Dawn_Boyer
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on October 18, 2009
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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on November 9, 2015
good read
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on November 28, 2014
Great book. Used in Internet law class also helpful in setting up my business
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on January 12, 2013
The book arrived in perfect condition but it just didn't work well for me. I read a little of the book but didn't feel that I could apply the ideas to my business.
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on September 25, 2009
I literally fell in to Twitter when I attended PodCamp 3.0 in San Antonio, Texas. This awesome event gave me my first exposure to Twitter and the instant impact that it can have on customers. I've been trying to learn all that I can about Twitter - this book gave me background, gave me a better understanding of Twitter, the impact, and benefits. I literally couldn't put the book down. I read a great deal and this is a classic. Well thought out with great insight to the phenomena of Twitter. Thanks Shel!
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