The News from ‘Twitterville’

    I’ve been reading Shel Israel’s book Twitterville: How Businesses Can Thrive in the New Global Neighborhoods, which I highly recommend. Here are some of my takeways:

    Here are Israel’s “Eight Tips” to Twitter:
    1. Show Yourself.
    2. Read First. Talk Later.
    3. Post Second. Follow Later.
    4. Friends over Stars.
    5. Avoid Spammer Stats.
    6. Have Favorites.
    7. Take Your Time.
    8. Think Neighborhood. (pp. 233-236)

    “You can disagree with someone but do so respectfully. Snarkiness undermines conversation.” (p. 268; attributed to @thornley )

    Israel encourages gaining many followers and followings, but realizes that such measures of quantity have nothing to do with relevance; hence (especially in business), we should aim for relevance and quality. Israel compares the feeling of Twitterville (and perhaps social networking sites in general) to that of a cozy small village or a British neighborhood pub (and encourages meeting people there one at a time). Yet he also talks about having a large number of followers and followings; making his Twitter account more like a newspaper or business conference. Yet realizing this, Israel still encourages some personal intimacy in one’s retweets. He feels it gives that personal, human touch, that makes one’s tweeting friendlier and – even in a business setting – not “strictly business.” He strongly discourages anti-social, automated tweets; Twitter is collaborative conversation.

    “If retweeting becomes a way that friends promote their friends, products, or business alliances, then Twitter is in danger of becoming part of marketing rather than a marketplace for interesting conversations. It lessons the value of retweets.” (p. 275)

    Israel also talks about Twitter’s protection against and investigations to ward off spammers. “To stave off these intruders, Twitter has created the ‘@spam’ account. When you suspect spam – or another abuse – send a direct message to @spam. Point to the suspect’s account, and Twitter usually investigates promptly.” (p. 243). And for Twitter analytics, Israel discusses how “ ranks the most popular retweets at any given moment the way ranks the most followers. goes further, revealing the actual tweets that are most often repeated.” (p. 276).

    Good stuff on approaches and issues of social networking and business today!

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    Jake Aull | Marketing Strategy | Social Media | Digital & Creative
    email | @jakeaull |