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Twitterville: How Businesses Can Thrive in the New Global Neighborhoods

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Twitter is the most rapidly adopted communication tool in history, going from zero to ten million users in just over two years. On Twitter, word can spread faster than wildfire. Companies no longer have the option of ignoring the conversation. Unlike other hot social media spaces, "Twitterville" is dominated by professionals, not students. And despite its size, it still f Twitter is the most rapidly adopted communication tool in history, going from zero to ten million users in just over two years. On Twitter, word can spread faster than wildfire. Companies no longer have the option of ignoring the conversation. Unlike other hot social media spaces, "Twitterville" is dominated by professionals, not students. And despite its size, it still feels like a small town. Twitter allows people to interact much the way they do face-to-face, honestly and authentically. One minute, you re com- plaining about the weather with local friends, the next, you re talking shop with a colleague based halfway across the globe. No matter where you re from or what you do for a living, you will find conversations on Twitter that are valuable. Despite the millions of people joining the site, you ll quickly find the ones who can make a difference to you. Social media writer Shel Israel shares revealing stories of "Twitterville" residents, from CEOs to the student who became the first to report the devastation of the Szechuan earthquake; from visionaries trying to raise money for a cause to citizen journalists who outshine traditional media companies. Israel introduces you to trailblazers such as: . Frank Eliason, who used Twitter to reverse Comcast s blemished customer service reputation . Bill Fergus, who was on the team at Henry Ford Medical Center during the first live tweeted surgery . Scott Monty, social media officer for Ford, who held off a mob of misinformed Ranger fans and averted a PR crisis . Connie Reece, who used Twitter to raise tens of thousands of dollars for cancer patients in need . The Coffee Groundz, a Houston-area coffee shop that uses Twitter to pack the tables (and fight off Starbucks) "Twitterville" features many true stories as dramatic as these. But it also recounts those of ordinary businesspeople who use Twitter to get closer to their customers. And it explains how global neighborhoods will make geography increasingly irrelevant. It even explains why people sometimes really do care what you had for lunch."


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Twitter is the most rapidly adopted communication tool in history, going from zero to ten million users in just over two years. On Twitter, word can spread faster than wildfire. Companies no longer have the option of ignoring the conversation. Unlike other hot social media spaces, "Twitterville" is dominated by professionals, not students. And despite its size, it still f Twitter is the most rapidly adopted communication tool in history, going from zero to ten million users in just over two years. On Twitter, word can spread faster than wildfire. Companies no longer have the option of ignoring the conversation. Unlike other hot social media spaces, "Twitterville" is dominated by professionals, not students. And despite its size, it still feels like a small town. Twitter allows people to interact much the way they do face-to-face, honestly and authentically. One minute, you re com- plaining about the weather with local friends, the next, you re talking shop with a colleague based halfway across the globe. No matter where you re from or what you do for a living, you will find conversations on Twitter that are valuable. Despite the millions of people joining the site, you ll quickly find the ones who can make a difference to you. Social media writer Shel Israel shares revealing stories of "Twitterville" residents, from CEOs to the student who became the first to report the devastation of the Szechuan earthquake; from visionaries trying to raise money for a cause to citizen journalists who outshine traditional media companies. Israel introduces you to trailblazers such as: . Frank Eliason, who used Twitter to reverse Comcast s blemished customer service reputation . Bill Fergus, who was on the team at Henry Ford Medical Center during the first live tweeted surgery . Scott Monty, social media officer for Ford, who held off a mob of misinformed Ranger fans and averted a PR crisis . Connie Reece, who used Twitter to raise tens of thousands of dollars for cancer patients in need . The Coffee Groundz, a Houston-area coffee shop that uses Twitter to pack the tables (and fight off Starbucks) "Twitterville" features many true stories as dramatic as these. But it also recounts those of ordinary businesspeople who use Twitter to get closer to their customers. And it explains how global neighborhoods will make geography increasingly irrelevant. It even explains why people sometimes really do care what you had for lunch."

30 review for Twitterville: How Businesses Can Thrive in the New Global Neighborhoods

  1. 5 out of 5

    Douglas

    So many social media books are light on examples but full of opinions. Shel Israel has written an incredible book that documents the birth and growth of Twitter in the business community. Shel walks through examples for profitable businesses, non-profit and charitable businesses and even touches on government use of Twitter. As well, he includes remarkable stories of humanity and how Twitter is changing the world we live in. This book is a must read for any social media or marketing professional.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Fell

    Despite the somewhat trite title, this book is really a great view into the making of the Twitter brand and a good primer on successful social media strategies and tactics. Israel - also author of Naked Conversations - does a good job of balancing his obvious role as social media champion with a reporter's style for approaching the topic objectively at the same time. I would recommend for anyone involved in marketing, communications or social media today. Despite the somewhat trite title, this book is really a great view into the making of the Twitter brand and a good primer on successful social media strategies and tactics. Israel - also author of Naked Conversations - does a good job of balancing his obvious role as social media champion with a reporter's style for approaching the topic objectively at the same time. I would recommend for anyone involved in marketing, communications or social media today.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Aleesa Sutton

    Not only useful - well, actually, a must-read for anyone who wants to engage with others over Twitter - but fascinating. He had me at the opening chapter with "James Buck Gets Out of Jail and Inspires This Book." Not only useful - well, actually, a must-read for anyone who wants to engage with others over Twitter - but fascinating. He had me at the opening chapter with "James Buck Gets Out of Jail and Inspires This Book."

  4. 4 out of 5

    R.Z.

    This is not so much a step by step in using Twitter, but rather an inspiration as to how Twitter can benefit those who are looking for a way to use it productively. Excellent book.

  5. 5 out of 5

    David

    I was interested in this book because I am a novice at using Twitter and I'm not sure I want to move beyond that stage, so I thought this would actually give me some pointers. In reality, it presents and discusses the uses of Twitter by individuals, companies, government, charities, and others from the early days before Twitter caught on while everyone was still trying to figure it out. One message played over and over throughout th book was that it is as important, if not more so, to listen on I was interested in this book because I am a novice at using Twitter and I'm not sure I want to move beyond that stage, so I thought this would actually give me some pointers. In reality, it presents and discusses the uses of Twitter by individuals, companies, government, charities, and others from the early days before Twitter caught on while everyone was still trying to figure it out. One message played over and over throughout th book was that it is as important, if not more so, to listen on Twitter than to use it to broadcast traditional marketing. For someone who uses Twitter a lot, this wouls be a much more interesting book. I did find the origins and evolution of Twitter interesting but I was also easily distracted by other books and things. I did get a nominal amount of Twitter 101 in the Afterword: Getting Started section at the end of the book. But maybe a "Twitter for Dummies" book would have been a better way to go! As for recommendations, you are on your own on this one.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kristen

    Although this isn't about libraries at all, I'm putting it on my "library" shelf because that's why I read it--to see how libraries could use Twitter to better promote their services and connect with their communities. I'm a latecomer to the Twitter bandwagon. While I love Facebook, I've never even wanted a Twitter account, considering it pretty stupid. However, more and more libraries are using Twitter, and I knew that to be employable I'd better figure it out. And reading this book gave me a h Although this isn't about libraries at all, I'm putting it on my "library" shelf because that's why I read it--to see how libraries could use Twitter to better promote their services and connect with their communities. I'm a latecomer to the Twitter bandwagon. While I love Facebook, I've never even wanted a Twitter account, considering it pretty stupid. However, more and more libraries are using Twitter, and I knew that to be employable I'd better figure it out. And reading this book gave me a huge realization. There's a reason I don't like the way libraries use Twitter--most of them are using it in ineffective and inefficient ways. I really liked what Israel had to say about using Twitter to build conversations with your communities, and to see how they are interacting with you and using your services. Most library Twitter accounts I see are just using Twitter to tweet about programs, materials, and information that is very specific to their library. They are highly one-sided and don't engage with patrons. While this is one use of Twitter, this book made me think about how we can expand that use to make a library's Twitter account something that could be vital to a community--not just library patrons. If we truly want the much vaunted "library of the future" to be at the heart of our respective communities, we need to leverage social media in ways that can make that happen. Why not post about community events not happening at the library, engage in conversations with patrons, and direct patrons and community members to places on the web that may be of interest to them? Yes, this is more work than just posting about an event happening tonight at a certain branch (and, of course, the library should continue to do that), but it also seems like it would be a way to connect to local community members and get your community excited about the library. What I liked most about this book is that it made me think about these possibilities. And it made me get a personal Twitter account, which was something I never thought I'd do.

  7. 5 out of 5

    W.G.T. Fernando

    Twitter has been in existence since 2006 but yet I only created my own twitter account in February of 2009 (you can see exact date by visiting http://www.whendidyoujointwitter.com and typing my account name ‘gihangamos’). That was also the month we created this magazine (http://diGIT.lk) and when I received a very friendly email from a fellow Sri Lankan who was living in USA. She gave us words of encouragement and suggestions to improve the readership of diGIT. That’s when she also suggested I s Twitter has been in existence since 2006 but yet I only created my own twitter account in February of 2009 (you can see exact date by visiting http://www.whendidyoujointwitter.com and typing my account name ‘gihangamos’). That was also the month we created this magazine (http://diGIT.lk) and when I received a very friendly email from a fellow Sri Lankan who was living in USA. She gave us words of encouragement and suggestions to improve the readership of diGIT. That’s when she also suggested I should join the twitter club or as Shel would put it, ‘land in Twitterville’. I am grateful to Sukanti Husain for her kind words of encouragement which has given strength to the diGIT magazine and has helped in reaching out to the right readership for the magazine. So what’s so great about twitter you would ask? A good question and a question which has a million answers. As Shel puts it in his book, each of us use Twitter in our own unique way, which is why we all have different followers. What makes twitter great is in how well you want to make twitter your companion. The book gives us great examples (stories) on how people have used twitter in times of crisis or how people have resolved customer care issues and got back faith in a company. It’s worth mentioning that Shel is humble enough to suggest Chris Brogan (a fellow social media writer) as the mayor of ‘Twitterville’. Shel justifies his decision purely on the fact that Chris is everywhere, as a mayor should be looking after the people of the city. For a full review please see this link http://digit.lk/09_sept_twitterville

  8. 4 out of 5

    Scott

    Shel Israel gives many great case studies and excellent guidance for people conversing using twitter. I would recommend to anyone who is currently using social media in general. I think that lessons learn and advice outlined would also apply to FB, LI and other forms of social media - however - obiously twitter is the best platform for what he has to offer. I have been using twitter for several months now and Shel's book added very good perspective and value add that I can apply to my use of twi Shel Israel gives many great case studies and excellent guidance for people conversing using twitter. I would recommend to anyone who is currently using social media in general. I think that lessons learn and advice outlined would also apply to FB, LI and other forms of social media - however - obiously twitter is the best platform for what he has to offer. I have been using twitter for several months now and Shel's book added very good perspective and value add that I can apply to my use of twitter and other social media.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    This book really opened my eyes to the number of different applications Twitter can have for businesses. It was full of real-world examples. I did get a bit tired of it 3/4 of the way through but I would recommend reading at least the first half if you're interested in how Twitter can transform your business for the better. This book really opened my eyes to the number of different applications Twitter can have for businesses. It was full of real-world examples. I did get a bit tired of it 3/4 of the way through but I would recommend reading at least the first half if you're interested in how Twitter can transform your business for the better.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Krystal

    I have been on Twitter personally for quite some time now but as I get ready to start tweeting for my job, it was an invaluable resource to help me understand what is expected from a more professional aspect. It helped me really know what I wanted to do with my work's twitter account before I ever created it. I have been on Twitter personally for quite some time now but as I get ready to start tweeting for my job, it was an invaluable resource to help me understand what is expected from a more professional aspect. It helped me really know what I wanted to do with my work's twitter account before I ever created it.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sean Bailey

    In the end, this book is not without it’s flaws (some bigger than others). It is, however, a great handbook on examples of Twitter’s use in business. My recommendation is to pick it up, however if you do, do it soon; the book is completely relevant, but as with anything involving social media, it can quickly become not so.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Adam Park

    This book is kind of dated, now that we've already put all those early years of Twitter behind us. Twitterville still rings true in this world where social media takes center stage. Replace the word Twitter in this book with Facebook, for instance, and you'll get deeper insight into how social media works. Hence, four stars. This book is kind of dated, now that we've already put all those early years of Twitter behind us. Twitterville still rings true in this world where social media takes center stage. Replace the word Twitter in this book with Facebook, for instance, and you'll get deeper insight into how social media works. Hence, four stars.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Joshua Kucera

    Very interesting book for trying to figure out what all the fuss about Twitter is. If you are in to social media and networking I would definitely recommend this book. I still don't know how to use Twitter however this book made me want to learn. Very interesting book for trying to figure out what all the fuss about Twitter is. If you are in to social media and networking I would definitely recommend this book. I still don't know how to use Twitter however this book made me want to learn.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen Rainwater

    If you are thinking about using Twitter to promote your business, be sure to read this book first. Twitter can create both PR nightmares and highly successful branding. The book is full of examples on how to use and how NOT to use Twitter

  15. 5 out of 5

    Mmiller400m

    I learned what I wanted to about Twitter through this book and was even inspired to start an account and dip a toe in.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Francine

    Good book on real use cases of Twitter.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    I keep having to relinquish this book because everyone is putting it on hold. Perhaps the marketing creatures.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Annmarie

    Israel provides an overview of Twitter and its history, with examples of how companies have used it. Moderately interesting.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Cathryn

    A little more theoretical than the title/marketing copy indicated, but gives an overview of the Twitter world.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Hayley Hutchison

    Great book on how businesses can use Twitter effectively.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Hichantel

    Interesting book. Gives a good overview of how Twitter is and can be used. Explains how to get started, some Twitter etiquette (Twitiquette?), and provides some additional resources.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Peter Galamaga

    Mildly interesting book about how Twitter is revolutionizing the marketing world. Lots of examples, bit light on practical how-to advice.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Craig Thomler

    Good fly over the twitter landscape, providing brief, but useful views of many of the uses of the service.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Wendy

    Great if you want to understand why twitter has worked-- author shares success stories and more

  25. 4 out of 5

    PJ

    I experimented on Twitter while reading this book and found it more useful than I expected. It helped that one of my favourite authors replied my tweet!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Gail Klanchesser

    One of the first social media books I read. Good examples of the reach and importance of twitter and social media.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Graham Page

    It gave interesting insight into how twitter evolved, and how it can be used. I am still not totally convinced of the usefulness of the medium but did find it to be helpful and informative.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Yasin

    I thought this was a how-to book, but it's just a bunch of essays - interesting essays, but not helpful as an application to business. I thought this was a how-to book, but it's just a bunch of essays - interesting essays, but not helpful as an application to business.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    slightly helpful, but too long!!

  30. 5 out of 5

    John Pilmer

    What a great study in how to use Twitter for business.

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