The World According to Twitter

It’s a crowd-sourced book. NY Times technology columnist David Pogue posted various questions on Twitter, then assembled selected responses from his over 500,000 followers. (If he picked one of their answers, they got a free copy of the book. Information on Pogue’s payment from the publisher was unavailable.)

The World According to Twitter cover
The World According to Twitter
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This is what I call a time capsule book. It’s perfectly of the moment, as when there were lots of books on internet communities and horror stories about hackers in the mid-90s, but it will seem outdated immensely quickly. In the meantime, though, it’ll catch the eye of lots of people who either know Twitter, and get the concept, or those who have heard about it and want to see more.

It’s a good selection for a bathroom or other pick-up-and-put-down dipping location. Each question (of 87) has 2-4 pages of responses, selected to be the most entertaining. Many of them are. My favorite questions were the geeky ones:

  • 140-character recipes
  • Movie sequel titles
  • Famous quotes if they were left in online speak
  • Movie cliches
  • Best and worst boss stories
    • And the cute kid sayings actually made me laugh out loud. Some are meant to be touching — greatest achievement, greatest regret, memorable first kiss — but, since we’re reading about strangers, without even the ability to easily see their history of tweets, they can err into sappy. Many many are based on puns. Some are enjoyable due to wallowing in other people’s misery, like the ones about the worst romantic dumping, but if they can talk about them, I can laugh about them.

      The introduction, after talking about how Pogue became a Twitter convert, hints at some of the technical problems they faced in capturing all the responses, creating tracking databases, and then hunting down contact information for the winners. I’d like to have read more about that. (A complimentary copy for this review was provided by the publisher.)

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2 Responses to “The World According to Twitter”

  1. Michael Grabois Says:

    I have some entries in there (the “4″ in 2524 are mine), including anagrams for my name, stories about meeting famous people, and biggest regret when it comes to money.

  2. Johanna Says:

    How useful that there’s an index, so I can read your contributions!

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