Monday, April 26, 2010

Twitterville: How Businesses Can Thrive in the New Global Neighborhoods

Book Club... And Then Some!

Twitterville: How Businesses Can Thrive in the New Global Neighborhoods
by Shel Israel

Book Review by
Richard L. Weaver II, Ph.D.

In the introduction, Israel writes, “There are several books that will tell you how to use Twitter and why you should. This book does a little of both, but neither is my central focus. I share with you stories of people using Twitter in the home office and in the global enterprise. People tweet to raise money for causes; to make government more responsive; to find and distribute news; to build personal or business networks; or just kill a little time with people you enjoy” (p. 6).

His theory is, rather than providing a simple “how to” book, people learn best from other people’s stories, so Israel crams his book full of stories, and he “argues the case for using social media instead of ads” to market a business. Israel spends more time with the current and potential business uses of Twitter than he does with personal uses.

It is through Twitter that Israel obtained three-fourths of the stories he shares. He “posted on Twitter what [he] was covering, and requested people tell [him] good stories on the various topics...” (P. 8). What his stories reveal and what impressed Israel, is that “Twitter lets us behave online more closely to how we do in the tangible world than anything that has ever preceded it” (p. 10).

The first chapters discuss the birth and evolution of Twitter or, as Israel calls it, “Migration of the Full Whale” (p. 27). These chapters offer an appropriate foundation for understanding the stories within these chapters and those that follow.

The writing is excellent and very readable, the descriptions clear, concise, and detailed, and the examples vivid, engaging, and valuable. From each story you gain a strong identification with the subject of the vignette; thus, there is a delightful immediacy you develop as a reader on a continuing basis.

As “the most rapidly adopted communication tool in history, going from zero to ten million users in just over two years" (front flyleaf), this is a book that deserves attention. First, it marks an important moment in the history of communication. Second, it demonstrates the role that technology plays in our society. Third, it reveals and underscores the importance and need for effective, instant communication. Fourth, it indicates (even confirms) how quickly people take to new forms of communication—or new forms of technology. Not just technofiles—everyone! What an insight! What an amazing revolution! What a great book this is.

Get the book now at  
Twitterville: How Businesses Can Thrive in the New Global Neighborhoods

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