The Twitter Book

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9780596802813: The Twitter Book

"Media organizations should take note of Twitter's power to quickly reach their target consumers." --Tim O'Reilly (@timoreilly), in a Los Angeles Times interview, March 2009

This practical guide will teach you everything you need to know to quickly become a Twitter power user. It includes information on the latest third party applications, strategies and tactics for using Twitter's 140-character messages as a serious--and effective--way to boost your business, as well as how to turn Twitter into your personal newspaper, tracking breaking news and learning what matters to you and your friends.

Co-written by Tim O'Reilly and Sarah Milstein, widely followed and highly respected twitterers, the practical information in The Twitter Book is presented in an innovative, visually rich format that's packed with clear explanations and examples of best practices that show Twitter in action, as demonstrated by the work of over 60 twitterers.

This book will help you:

  • Use Twitter to connect with colleagues, customers, family, and friends
  • Stand out on Twitter
  • Avoid common Twitter gaffes and pitfalls
  • Build a critical professional communications channel with Twitter--and use the best third-party tools that help you manage it.

If you want to know how to use Twitter like a pro, The Twitter Book will quickly get you up to speed.

About the authors:

Tim O Reilly (@timoreilly), founder and CEO of O Reilly Media, has hundreds of thousands of followers on Twitter. Sarah Milstein (@SarahM) frequently writes, speaks and teaches about Twitter; she was the 21st user of Twitter.

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Review:

This practical guide will teach you everything you need to know to quickly become a Twitter power user, including strategies and tactics for using Twitter's 140-character messages as a serious--and effective--way to boost your business. Co-written by Tim O'Reilly and Sarah Milstein, widely followed and highly respected Twitterers, the practical information in The Twitter Book is presented in a fun, full-color format that's packed with helpful examples and clear explanations.

Twitter Tips

1. Even if you use Twitter primarily to post information that’s not directly about your company, you can—and should—use it to sometimes link back to your own site or blog. Many companies find that Twitter can become a top referrer to their sites, so avail yourself of that benefit—just do it in a smart way.
The key is to frame the link in a way that’s interesting to your Twitter followers. So instead of saying, “New Blog Post: Mundane Headline, http://yourblog.com,” try something like the examples here, each of which links back to the Bigelow Tea blog.



2. If you’re looking to get the most out of Twitter, don’t fall into the trap of posting an RSS feed of headlines from your site or blog. Although there are services that will automate such a connection for you, they simply help you create an impersonal account that duplicates the main feature of an RSS reader. Why bother?

Four Important Things to Search For

If you want really useful search results from Twitter, you have to spend some time playing with the advanced search options to figure out the relevant terms and topics people are talking about. Here are four topics to get you started:
1. Your name. It may be known as a “vanity search,” but keeping an eye on what people say about you is a smart idea. (Don’t forget that putting quotes around your name can help refine the results. Search for “Jane Doe” instead of Jane Doe.)
2. Your Twitter account name. Don’t miss messages to or about you.
3. Your company, brand or product. Peek into the minds of customers, competitors, journalists and other key constituents. If you’re a local business, use the advanced search “Location” option to narrow down results. Also, if your company name is common, use the minus sign to weed out inappropriate results. For instance, if you work for Kaiser Permanente, search for Kaiser -Chiefs to make sure messages about the band don’t overwhelm your results. (Here, a targeted search yields some relevant results.)
4. Your competitors. Get market intel and ideas.

About the Author:

Tim O'Reilly is the founder and CEO of O'Reilly Media, Inc., thought by many to be the best computer book publisher in the world, and an activist for open standards. O'Reilly Media also publishes online through the O'Reilly Network and hosts conferences on technology topics, including the O'Reilly Open Source Convention, the O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference, and the Web 2.0 Conference. Tim's blog, the O'Reilly Radar "watches the alpha geeks" to determine emerging technology trends, and serves as a platform for advocacy about issues of importance to the technical community.

Sarah Milstein writes, speaks and consults frequently on Twitter. A Web 2.0 strategist and co-founder of a website for lively, work-related workshops, she is the author of Twitter and the Micromessaging Revolution, an O'Reilly Media research report. Previously, she was on the senior editorial staff at O'Reilly, where she founded the Tools of Change for Publishing conference (TOC) and led the development of the Missing Manuals, a best-selling series of computer books for non-geeks. She's also written for the series, co-authoring Google: The Missing Manual.
Before joining O'Reilly, Sarah was a freelance writer and editor, and a regular contributor to The New York Times. She was also a program founder for Just Food, a local-food-and-farms non-profit, and co-founder of Two Tomatoes Records, a label that distributes and promotes the work of children's musician Laurie Berkner.

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