"Twitterville" by Shel Israel - Book Review

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Austin Texas Homes, LLC 453249

Quick disclaimer: This is a sincere book review and it contains my honest opinions, and I haven't been compensated in any fashion for this.  That being said, I consider Shel Israel to be a friend now, so I will dispense with any formality (i.e. I won't be referring to him as "Mr. Israel" here).

Having had a chance to speak with Shel Israel when he appeared twice on our radio show this past year, and having met him in person when he was in Austin, I was looking forward to acquiring my own copy of his latest book, "Twitterville". 

In a nutshell, Shel did not disappoint with this effort, managing to cover Twitter from almost every conceivable business angle.  Non-profit? Check.  Medicine?  Check.  Politics?  Indeed.  Local businesses?  Absolutely.  What about big business?  Yes.  It's all here. 

Shel has a broad understanding of public relations and corporate marketing strategies, and frankly, it shows here.  If you're looking to create a social media marketing plan, this book is certain to give you some new ideas.  In fact, I would be surprised if "Twitterville" didn't stimulate some new methods and techniques that you can implement with your own business.

You will learn about what some businesses are doing right when it comes to social media engagement (think Zappos and Comcast), and which ones missed the mark altogether.  You will also read about customers who are forming groups of their own around specific brands.

At just under 300 pages, this is a relatively quick read, and Shel keeps things moving along by providing plenty of "real world" stories to illustrate his points.  He did a great job of locating the stories themselves, then an even better job of distilling them into a holistic work that supports his thesis.  Speaking of which, the main thrust here is that Twitter is a revolutionary business tool which serves to bring people together and makes things happen that might not otherwise have happened.  In essence, the world is made smaller and more intimate.  The full title is "Twitterville: How Businesses Can Thrive in the New Global Neighborhoods", which is appropriate.

Shel also covers the history of Twitter from its inception and its public debut at SXSW in 2007.  I got a better feel for the guys who run the show by reading his take on them and their distinct personalities and backgrounds.  He also details a handful of social media rockstars who are just plain doing things the right way, including Chris Brogan, Veronica Belmont, and Jeremiah Owyang.

"Twitterville" will remain on my bookshelf as a reference book, and I can't recommend it enough if you want to gain a better understanding of how Twitter serves to interconnect millions of lives, projects, and conversations. 

To pick up your own copy, visit http://budurl.com/twitterville


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If you're looking for a home in the Austin area, you can also visit my primary website at www.austintexashomes.com.  Thanks!


Re-Blogged 2 times:

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Paddy (Patricia) Pizappi
Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty - Pine Bush, NY
Real Estate Associate Broker Hudson Valley NY

I need to start learning more about the Tweeting.  I stuck my toe in but got overwhelmed.  A guide would be good.  Thanks for the review Jason

Jan 23, 2010 07:45 AM #1
Larry Bettag
Cherry Creek Mortgage Illinois Residential Mortgage License LMB #0005759 Cherry Creek Mortgage NMLS #: 3001 - Saint Charles, IL
Vice-President of National Production

I heard that Shel is a rock star on Twit......It'd be good for me to "LEARN" it once and for all......

Jan 23, 2010 08:19 AM #2
Debbie Walsh
Shahar Management - Middletown, NY
Hudson Valley NY Real Estate 845.283-3036

Thanks for the review-I think I might pick this one up or see if it is in Kindle format.  Thanks Jason!

Jan 23, 2010 08:42 AM #3
Brian Block
RE/MAX Allegiance, Managing Broker/Branch Vice President - McLean, VA
Northern Virginia & D.C. Real Estate

Jason, I very much enjoyed reading Twitterville and also seeing Shel Israel in person in the Fall at a Northern Virginia blogging event called BlogPotomac.  He's very engaging.

Jan 23, 2010 09:30 AM #4
Frank Kliewer
Woodinville, WA

Thanks Jason, this is on my list of things to read for sure. Your recommendation is appreciated.

Jan 23, 2010 09:39 AM #5
Pat Laracy Baker
Realty Executives Boston West - Holliston, MA
Pat Baker Dream Home Maker

Thanks Jason. I will get my copy and learn some more.

Jan 23, 2010 11:12 AM #6
Eric J
Eric J - Dream Home Financing - Freehold, NJ
Dream Home Financing

I am really not too sure how productive my tweets are. I dont know anyone who found me through twitter. Not yet anyway. meanwhile, my AR posts are all getting posted on twitter too so who knows?

Jan 23, 2010 12:07 PM #7
Lisa Hill
Florida Property Experts - Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Beach Real Estate

Uuuuugggghhh. Yes, I'm whining. Of ALL the MANY social networking sites, Twitter is my LEAST favorite! I don't really care that you're waiting in line for coffee... I don't even drink coffee! I REALLY couldn't care less that your kid has a runny nose. I rarely log in at all. I just have it linked to my other sites that I do use. Yeah, yeah. I've heard it all. But we can't do it all anyway. I'll just have to get my clients from one of my other avenues. There is certainly no shortage of ways to network!

Jan 23, 2010 03:56 PM #8
Marcie Sandalow
Marcie Sandalow, Compass 301.758.4894 - Bethesda, MD
Bethesda Chevy Chase DC real estate

I, too, am slow to embrace twitter.   But more from lack of understanding than anything else (why would I want to learn about some dreary, long coffee line?).  I hope it's chock full of advice on creating meaningful tweets.   Perhaps it will persuade me to jump on the bus? 

Jan 24, 2010 10:33 AM #9
Jason Crouch
Austin Texas Homes, LLC - Austin, TX
Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653)

Lisa - You're right - there are plenty of ways to network.  I'm sure that lots of people feel equally irritated by hearing about AR and blogging.  :)  I don't talk about getting coffee or my kid having a runny nose, although I can tell you that today I went to Starbucks and TWO of my kids have runny noses. 

Jan 24, 2010 01:44 PM #10
Don Wixom
RE/MAX Executives Nampa, ID - Nampa, ID
"Looking out for your next move..."tm

Jason, thanks for the review!  It sounds like a must buy!

Jan 24, 2010 03:01 PM #11
Liz Moras Migic
Chilliwack, BC
Chilliwack, British Columbia - Realtor

Love your reviews Jason :-)  AND the 'flying turtles' are in YOUR backyard :-)  The Oasis!

Jan 24, 2010 03:12 PM #12
Bill Jones
Discovery Real Estate Ltd. - "Homes By Jones" - Airdrie, AB
Realtor (403-701-1739) Airdrie & Calgary Area Homes and Condos

Thanks Jason, I value your recommendations, sounds like a very informative read. will pick it up tomorrow.


Jan 24, 2010 05:17 PM #13
Ann Hayden
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties-St. Louis Missouri - Chesterfield, MO


Thank you for the book review.  I will have to check this out...

Ann Hayden in windy Wildwood, MO

Jan 25, 2010 01:03 AM #14
Jason Crouch
Austin Texas Homes, LLC - Austin, TX
Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653)

Liz - I KNEW that they looked familiar!  :)  I almost had my birthday party there in 2008, but opted for the County Line. 

Jan 25, 2010 01:24 AM #15
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

Thanks, I will get this. First, I always like hostory whether it is Twitter or real estate. It gives you an appreciation of trends and changes. Hopefullt he will address in the book, the hyer-local way that Twitter can be used. I have been studying that, and that is what excites me about Twitter as a marketing without looking like you are marketing tool. 

Jan 25, 2010 01:26 AM #16
Hannah Williams
Re/Max Eastern inc. - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-953-8818

Jason..Thanks for the review..and thanks to Pat Kennedy for your review or would have missed this great post..will check out this book ..Thank you


Jan 25, 2010 01:36 AM #17
GARY DIGIORGIO -Denver- Arvada -Westminster
THE DIGIORGIO GROUP /(303) 898 - GARY (4279) - Westminster, CO
REOptions LLC

Mornin Jason....Glad you liked the Realtor Man remix...it is a great song !!

Thanks for the Saintly comment ...

Gary D for Denver

Jan 25, 2010 02:50 AM #18
Steve, Joel & Steve A. Chain
Chain Real Estate Investments & Mortgage, Steve & Joel Chain - Cottonwood, CA

Jason, Thanks for the review. Twitter is a great spot to be for business relationships.


Jan 25, 2010 04:39 PM #19
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Jason, thank you for the informative post, I think Twitter is great it spreads the word, listings, post, market statistics...no not about runny noses:))

Jan 25, 2010 06:18 PM #20
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