Skandia Team GBR

Friday, September 25, 2009

Twitterville by Shel Israel – Would you live there?

Yes I would, and I think I’d probably want to own the pub on the corner ;-)


Disclosure: I contributed to the book.. page 262\263.

@ShelIsrael is a great, well respected guy; his blog posts have great insight and his Twitter stream is diverse and one of my (@SoulSailor) favourites and, assuming he ever makes it over to England, I can’t wait to have a few pints and talk about twitter and life at an “English pub” in Rugby ;-) just like he promised!

Firstly, let me make it clear that book reviews aren’t my thing… I read, I enjoy and I move on so be warned!


This is a book that you absolutely need to read if you’re not sure about Twitter, your just dipping your toe in or if you wanna know the hows and the whys…The book is in three main sections… a kinda “how it started”, “what people are doing” and a sort of “beginners guide”.

For me, Twitterville is a positive journey through the characters and impacts that Twitter has had since its inception. Some have said in previous reviews of the book that it’s too positive, well Twitter is what you make of it and I think that Shel does a great job showing what is possible to achieve with the platform..

The sub-title of the book is “How Businesses Can Thrive in the New Global Neighborhoods” well absolutely yes they can, but it’s clear that although a positive book, Shel makes no bones in the stories he tells, as to how freaking hard it is, the dedication, innovation, foresight and determination that one needs to succeed, but the platform is there, the villagers are waiting to hear what you’ve got to say, you just need to bring to Twitterville the catalyst, that's what is key!

I’m not going to comment on the last section of the book.. this is clearly aimed at the newbie.. a kinda step-by-step approach to getting engaged into the conversation and adding value… I can see this “completes” the journey depicted in the book, especially  if this is a whole new world to you, but for me it gave nothing that I didn’t know or agree with; it doesn't detract from the books value, just skip it as Shel suggests :-)

The apparently random (to me) tweets through the book give some light as to what can be said in 140 characters… but to some extent they felt a little too random… but hey maybe that’s a true reflection of the twitter stream?

I really enjoyed the first sections in the book, how it all got started was explained very well with some great insights into both Twitter and the early adopters, really gave a sense at how far the Twitter platform had come over it’s short life and how much it has been shaped by the community rather than inside Twitter HQ…

The bulk of the rest of the book is a demonstration through well articulated stories of how a cross section of Twitterville are using Twitter to help their personal, business or charitable aims… I found the stories compelling, realistic and in most cases I was reassured that my own visions were being played out elsewhere in some way and were therefore attainable.

As many have said already Twitterville seems like the younger sister of “Naked Conversations”, it’s arrival is timely and the context seemingly  flows naturally from what was said by Scoble and Shel previously but applied to the platform of the present; I’m sure Twitter won’t be around in the future but platforms supporting the subscription and publication and reuse of a stream of SAM’s (Simple Activity Messages) will absolutely be an integral part of the future technology landscape.

Overall this is a great book, rounded, accurate, appropriate, educational and most importantly eminently readable…

Go grab a copy, get a pint and sit down in your local pub and educate yourself…

No comments: