Saturday, August 15, 2009

The World According to Twitter - Book Review

Book Name: The World According to Twitter
Author: David Pogue and his 50,000 followers
Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, Inc., 2009

David Pogue is a technology columnist that writes for the New York Times, has authored or co-authored over 50 computer books, and is a correspondent for CBS News Sunday Morning. His newest book provides readers with the results of his non-scientific recent Twitter test.

Every night at around 11 p.m. he posed a new question on Twitter and then waited for the responding tweets. His Twitter book consists entirely of the tweets he received to his questions - 95 questions in total and 2,524 tweet answers are in the book.

A sample of the questions include:

"What's your brilliant idea to improve the modern automobile?"
"You know it's time to look for a new job when..."
"Tell us the story of your tattoo."

Pogue tells readers that it takes about a week of using Twitter to actually "get it." He demonstrated how powerful it was by tweeting during a talk he was giving and asking his followers for a cure for hiccups which he got many answers within seconds of posting the question.

While most of the questions included in the book are of the pastime or Twitter -tainment nature, it does demonstrate how Twitter can be used for serious business applications.

Asking the Twitter world for input on problems, products, techniques, processes, or other business related issues can generate instant feedback from around the world - granted some good and some not so good.

For example, if you are designing casual wear jewelry and want to get a quick idea of what consumers are wearing as everyday pieces, asking the Twitter world what their favorite everyday piece of jewelry is or made of can generate a whole list of products to produce.

Pogue did include some interesting Twitter stats - 80 percent are over the age of 25, two-thirds have college degrees, and are high wage earners. Tweet that to your marketing group.

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