Book Review: Twitter Power

Twitter Power, Joel Comm, John Wiley & Sons, 2009

I opened my Twitter account on August 31, 2007. As you can see from the graph below, it took me a little while to appreciate the value of the Twitter phenomenon.

That first day I sent four tweets.

Reading Technology Review and configuring Netvibes
8:06 AM Aug 31st 2007

@kathylongacre – Have fun. Enjoy the party.
1:45 PM Aug 31st 2007

Helping Skye with her reading comprehension and decimal arithmetic.
1:48 PM Aug 31st 2007

@stevenpam – I think you may be right. I suppose there could be some business uses if you’re organized in teams or for teenagers.
4:06 PM Aug 31st 2007


Over the next four months I sent only six additional tweets.

As a web professional I felt obliged to know a bit about the microblogging sensation, but couldn’t understand why anybody would be interested in knowing what I was having for lunch. I was certain I wasn’t interested in what they were having for lunch. I set up the account and remained apathetic to it for the next year and a half.

Recently Twitter has reached a sort of critical mass. Everybody, it seems, has a Twitter account and is gleefully broadcasting their thoughts, jokes, links, and, yes, even what they had for lunch, to the entire world. It is nearly impossible to read a newspaper or magazines or blog lately–especially articles about the social web–that do not mention Twitter. A lot. The phenomenon is huge and growing fast. If so many people were embracing 140-character microblogging, I realized, I had better pay attention.

Last week I was at the local library and saw a new book on the shelf titled, “Twitter Power“, by Joel Comm. I checked it out and moved it to the top of my reading queue. I knew it would be far simpler to learn from an experienced member of the twitterverse than to flail around on my own until I figured out its intricacies, jargon, tools, techniques and etiquette.

I’m glad I did. Joel starts off–as you would expect–describing just what is Twitter and why and how it is so powerful. It is foremost a business and marketing book, so the emphasis throughout is on how to use Twitter to build a brand, drive traffic and make sales. All of those techniques and tips, however, can be used by any Twitter user.

In chapter three Joel leads the reader through the steps to properly set up and configure a Twitter account. The information in this chapter is critical and should not be overlooked even by those who have existing accounts. I was pleased to discover my account conformed to all of Joel’s guidelines. I had flailed in the proper directions.

Chapter four gives tips and strategies for building up a healthy Twitter following. This is important, obviously, because there’s no point to tweeting to an audience of zero.

The bulk of the book, as it should be, is dedicated to advice on how to write good tweets. He says, above all, that, “tweeting is a process.” Vary the type of tweets, be informal, be smart, and have fun. The lessons of these chapters cannot be learned by reading tweets alone.

The only criticism I have is that the book is riddled with errors that should have been corrected by the editor. It seems as though the book was rushed to press. This is understandable; it’s important to get on the tsunami while it’s cresting. The errors are minor and didn’t appreciably detract from the excellent substantive content.

Twitter is, above all else, a communication tool. I highly recommend this book to anybody who currently uses Twitter or who is interested in knowing how Twitter can help their business. There is a lot of chatter in the twitterverse. The advice in this book will help you focus your attention on those conversations that will advantage you the most.

Don’t forget to follow me. 😉

One Reply to “Book Review: Twitter Power”

  1. […] to tell people what you’re doing, you really do not “get it”. It’s okay, neither did I for a very long time. 🙂 @brentdanley’s tweet […]

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