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Toronto technical writer shares Twitter tips in new book

Posted by Elena del Valle on September 18, 2009

Twitter Tips, Tricks and Tweets book cover

Twitter Tips, Tricks and Tweets book cover

In Twitter Tips, Tricks and Tweets (Wiley, $19.99) Toronto resident Paul McFedries shares step by step insights on Twitter. He wrote the book for beginners and those who have been Twitter fans and want to expand their knowledge. The book is filled with photos of the website and related media illustrating the author’s text and instructions. He starts out with very basic information to introduce first time users to Twitter, the growing and increasingly popular social media website.

From there he progresses, explaining how to add a picture, theme and background image to an account; send account updates; manage the 140-character limit and use non standard characters; follow Twitter etiquette; make updates private; use hashtags; find and follow people; retweet; understand and use Twitter’s mobile phone feature; find information on Twitter; use Twitter Scan, Twitterfall, TweetGrid, Monitter and others; share your Twitter presence and updates on other websites; use TweetDeck, twhirl, and Twitter websites like iTweet, Tweetree, and Tweetvisor; use Twitter gadgets and widgets; use tools to extend Twitter by shortening URLs, sharing photos, videos and music; post to multiple social networks; follow Twitter trends; and get your Twitter account ranking.

The 249-page paperback book is divided into nine chapters: How Do I Get Started with Twitter? What Can I Do to Customize My Twitter Profile? How Do I Send Twitter Updates? How Do I Follow Other Twitter Users? Can I Use Twitter on My Mobile Phone? How Do I Find Stuff in Twitter? Where Can I Display My Twitter Feed?  How Can I Take Twitter to the Next Level? and What Tools Can I Use to Extend Twitter?

McFedries, who wrote his first computer book in 1991, has 60 titles to his name and combined sales of more than three million books. He owns Word Spy, a website about words and phrases.

Click here to buy Twitter Tips, Tricks, and Tweets

Social media enthusiast touts business power of Twitter

Posted by Elena del Valle on June 5, 2009

Twitter Power book cover

Twitter Power book cover

When a US Airways airplane landed safely in the Hudson River earlier this year many people first heard about it on Twitter, the popular social networking site known for its short postings. In his most recent book Author Joe Comm, a social media enthusiast, points out that the first medium in which news of the recent India terrorist attacks appeared was Twitter. Only several hours later did broadcast media begin coverage. It would appear Twitter is well established as a medium and method to communicate news quickly and efficiently internationally. But does it play a business role?

Comm and Ken Burge, his business partner, argue that it does. In the recently published book, Twitter Power How to Dominate Your Market One Tweet at a Time (Wiley, $24.95) Comm, with Burge’s help and a foreword by Author Anthony Robbins, dedicates 245-pages to the discussion. It took him two months to write the book, according to a representative from his publisher. Comm’s expertise in the area was born from his business experience online. He made a business, started in his bedroom, of providing advice and promoting products online. This in turn led to the seven figure company he now owns, he says in the Introduction of the book.

Unlike Facebook and MySpace Twitter’s usefulness wasn’t obvious to him from the beginning. Over time, the micro blogging website has revealed itself as an “important and easy” way of networking, unearthing new information and finding new customers for him. Twitter also has helped expand the reach of his brand and allowed him to connect with experts and receive advice from people he believes he would have never met otherwise. Most importantly for businesses considering whether to spend their time following and being followed on the 140-character-per-posting site he says Twitter drives traffic to his portal.

Comm argues that to get the most out of Twitter it is best to use it in combination with other social networking sites. In the book, he dedicates time to outlining the basics of social media before discussing Twitter and what makes it special. Next, he explains how to get started on Twitter and, what many readers are likely to be most interested in, how to get a following on the website.

He believes getting followers is easy but keeping them is a challenge. According to him it takes only a few followers to make it to the top 10 percent of people on Twitter. He includes a 30-day step-by-step outline for newbies who want to make inroads on Twitter.

Ultimately, he argues, tweeting is a tool that can lead dedicated users to build beneficial relationships and a loyal following. To accomplish that they have to do more than just post information or comments; they have to connect with customers, problem solve, win referrals, and provide support. If they are successful they will develop a loyal following which may generate visitors, traffic and income. He also mentions Twitter add-on tools and applications and their role and benefits.

Comm describes Twitter as a “virtual giant water cooler” and emphasizes that sales oriented messages are not appropriate. At the same time, he believes many good things can result from the relationships born there for those willing to spend the time and energy to build them.

Comm is also author of The AdSense Code and Click Here to Order. In researching Comm for this article the author also found several websites listing complaints relating to Comm and his online businesses as well as questions regarding his methods. According to a spokesperson for the publishing company, “When you do business with tens of thousands of customers you are bound to have customer service issues. Please note that the BBB page says all issues have been resolved satisfactorily.” Comm did not reply directly. Burge is president of InfoMedia Inc. An eight year veteran of Microsoft, he is responsible for the management of 50 profitable online properties, according to promotional materials.

Joel Comm, author, Twitter Power

Joel Comm, author, Twitter Power

Twitter Power book cover

Twitter Power book cover

Click here to buy Twitter Power: How to Dominate Your Market One Tweet at a Time