Starting out with a handy, tear-outable list of Twitter Don’ts (Don’t follow 100s of people when you first sign up.), Twitter Do’s (Listen to what your Twitter friends are saying) and a great list of shorthand commands (stats – get your followers and following count)…and ending with a handy glossary of terms useful for Twitter users to understand, Twitter for Dummies, by Laura Fitton, Michael E. Gruen and Leslie Poston, is a book that is chock full of information for anyone who uses (or wants to use) this terrific social networking platform.
In the introduction, the authors point out an important aspect of using Twitter – Learning to communicate in 140 characters or less (as required in “tweets”) may very well help you communicate more effectively as your writing “becomes shorter and more to the point.” Personally, I have found this to be true, and a real benefit of being a power Twitter user. Let’s face it – less is more, and learning to get to the point quickly and succinctly has many benefits.
Laura, Michael and Leslie also remind readers that “Twitter is a living, breathing and constantly changing dynamic community.” Their book offers a snapshot of tools and tricks to use it well, but it is up to the user to take advantage of the ideas and to stay up-to-date going forward.
No useful Twitter manual is complete without a discussion of “finding your Tweet voice” and information about using Twitter for business. I love the author’s answer to the question, “What’s the business use of Twitter?” Laura replies, “What’s the business use of email?” (p. 177). I laughed out loud, because that is exactly what my friend Stephanie A. Lloyd and I reply to Twitter skeptics! (Another reply we offer – Do you make time to use the phone?)
The book is directed at first-time Twitter users. It offers step-by-step instructions that give you the tools to become a true Twitter expert. The user who has the patience for extremely in-depth information will find a plethora of information – enough to really become a power user. However, for the more casual tweep, the level of information may be a bit overwhelming. I would recommend focusing on one or two topics at a time, mastering them, and moving on.
Definitely get a copy of Twitter for Dummies if you are the type of person who likes to know everything about a topic and you have the bandwidth to get through a fairly intensive guide. You can be sure that you’ll be a real pro once you learn everything that Laura (@pistachio), Michael (@gruen) and Leslie (@geechee_girl) share. You can also follow @dummies for up-to-date information about the book.
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