Since jumping back on the blogging bandwagon, I’ve been looking to get more familiar with the top social networking sites. I’ve had some experiences with most of the major players except Twitter, which I never did manage to get into. I decided to give Twitter a fair chance and see if it worked for me. In order to do this, I felt some basic background / guidance was necessary before jumping in heads-first. Turns out that The Twitter Book from Tim O’Reilly and Sarah Milstein was really all that I needed. My Amazon review follows:
Think of The Twitter Book not as a book but rather like a longer, really well done, Powerpoint presentation. For the most part, the top of every other page of the book has a really clear storyboard message which is explained on the subsequent two pages with creative examples, both textual and using simple, colorful graphics. As countless reviewers have already pointed out, it’s a case of the book medium emulating the tool it’s describing – terse and colorful.
The book is an easy read in an hour, give or take 10 minutes. It also functions well as a reference document if you need to go back and look up Twitter features, such as hashtags and retweets, as you gain more familiarity with the Twitter service. At 231 not-so-dense pages, the book is rightsized for a service that enforces a 140 character message limit.
If you’ve looked at Twitter before and didn’t get what all the fuss was about, give it another shot after reading this book. Try the “Three Weeks or Your Money Back – Guaranteed” plan in chapter 1. You’ve got lots to gain and very little to lose.