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The Twitter Book

A book by Sarah Milstein and Tim O'Reilly

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Excellent Book on Using and Leveraging Twitter

  • Jan 19, 2010
It probably comes as no surprise that Twitter usage grew 1,382 percent in just three years. It is a service that, once you understand it and its power, can become a part of your daily life. In more ways than just telling the world what you had for lunch. To help people understand that growth and to assist them with the use of Twitter, Tim O'Reilly and Sarah Milstein have authored The Twitter Book. This little book, all of 234 pages, can be read in one sitting. Or, more likely, kept at arms reach, as it contains a wealth of information that one will refer to many times. It has the added bonus of explaining, using easy to understand terms, why you and your organization should be on Twitter, how to monitor the conversations, and the various tools at your disposal to leverage the service.

Chapter 1: Get Started
Chapter 2: Listen In
Chapter 3: Hold Great Conversations
Chapter 4: Share Information and Ideas
Chapter 5: Reveal Yourself
Chapter 6: Twitter for Business: Special Considerations and Ideas

Tim O'Reilly and Sarah Milstein waste no time jumping into the Twitter universe. Within a few pages, you understand the appeal of the service, something called "ambient intimacy" which is a "lightweight but meaningful connection." While the conversations seem, to those not familiar with Twitter, as being banal, they actually bring people together. Once O'Reilly and Milstein explain the value of the service using several scenarios, they help you get started, from signing up to explaining Twitter terms, from finding people to follow to how to test drive the service. Once the basics have been covered, they cover a wide range of topics, providing tips and tricks, URL shorteners, customization of your Twitter page, and more. The final chapter is very helpful for organizations that want to leverage Twitter. Many of the items that O'Reilly and Milstein present in that chapter would be applicable to those may use the service to look for a job, too. It is the highlight of the book, as it presents solid guidelines for corporate tweeting and monitoring of the conversations taking place through Twitter.

The Twitter Book is an excellent resource for those new to the service or old hands. Written in a casual, conversational style, with plenty of graphics and examples, this book will connect with a wide range of Twitter users. Even the early chapters are beneficial to those that live on Twitter, especially when the authors explain @messages, the power of Twitter Search, and how to retweet. While retweeting may seem simple to veteran Twitter users, there are some excellent tips presented in this book on how to effectively retweet. O'Reilly and Milstein also provide the reader with solid 3rd party applications and web sites where the user can take advantage of the conversations on Twitter. Many of them may be familiar, like Twitterific and TweetDeck, for mobile and desktop tweeting, and sites like What the Trend and Who Should I Follow, for determining Twitter trends and finding interesting people to follow. While you may worry that the information will become dated quickly, O'Reilly and Milstein minimize that fear by writing an excellent resource and promising that they will continue to update it. Whether you are thinking about experimenting with Twitter or a seasoned user, The Twitter Book is an excellent resource. While I borrowed this book from the library, I will be purchasing it in the near future; there is just too much good information contained in this book

Obtained from: Library
Payment: Borrowed

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review by . September 10, 2010
Twitter is one of the most dynamic and open social networking sites today. It is used by millions of people every day, which is pretty incredible for a site that allows you to only post 140 characters at a time. However, this apparent simplicity belies a very powerful online tool that can be used for a variety of purposes: keeping friends informed of your actions and whereabouts, finding out what your friends are up to, tracking news trends, finding information that even news sites have not yet …
review by . March 02, 2010
I use the Internet and I have a Twitter account. I didn't open an account until June 2009 and even then I was a bit skeptical about Twitter. I really don't need to know what Larry Smith ate for breakfast or that my neighbor down the street just went to the bathroom. However, I eventually realized and understood how valuable a tool Twitter could be and no longer view the medium in disdain. Much of this understanding came after I read THE TWITTER BOOK by Tim O'Reilly and Sarah Milstein.    THE …
review by . August 06, 2009
Like many people - probably millions of them - I've looked at Twitter, toyed with it, tried to figure out what the excitement is about and ignored it.     After reading this 230 page book on Twitter, I can't wait to get back to it.     Like Facebook, Twitter appears simple. But co-authors O'Reilly and Milstein explore all the features of Twitter, including a host of third-party resources that lend it tremendous power. It is truly amazing to see how potent …
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About this book


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,,” 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

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ISBN-10: 0596802811
ISBN-13: 978-0596802813
Author: Tim O'Reilly, Sarah Milstein
Genre: Professional & Technical, Computers & Internet
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
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