Book Review – “Twitter For Good” a new book for the ichthysgeneration

TWITTER FOR GOOD

Claire Diáz – Ortiz

Many of us are just beginning to perceive the society transforming power of social networking. No longer do we live in isolation. If we wish we can connect ourselves, instantly with others around the planet. Using the new tools of the new “information age” we are able to keep up with the topics that interest us and the people that are doing something about them everywhere, all the time. In many ways there are no more barriers of distance and geography, no more time zones. And we can, if we want to, join in the chorus that many say is changing the world.

Some have just begun to stick their toes in the water to see, what is what, about all the hype. Others have been using the new tools effectively for quite some time. Books like Clay Shirky’s “Here Comes Everybody” describe some of the social and organizational impacts of the new tools. But not being a “natural” user of these new methods I have needed a primer on the effective use of these powerful communications channels.

“Twitter for Good” is such a primer.

Since 2009 Claire Diaz-Ortiz, the author, has lead social innovation and philanthropy at Twitter. Before joining Twitter she was using Twitter to change the world for good. As a cofounder of Hope Runs (HopeRuns.org) she found herself Tweeting for Good from the Central Highlands of Kenya, “urging followers to learn about the effects of the HIV/AIDS epidemic on orphaned and vulnerable children.”  In this, her second book, Ms Diaz-Ortiz shows how to use the T.W.E.E.T. model an operational framework for the deployment of Twitter she developed.

T.W.E.E.T. (Target, Write, Engage, Explore, Track)

“The jarringly obvious acronym serves as the absolutely easiest way for organizations to remember the five most important things they must do to stand out on Twitter. It has worked for hundreds of organizations, and I am confident that it can work for you as well.” (from the book)

This book is rich with examples of organizations and individuals who are effective in using Twitter as an integral part of their strategy to bring about good in the world. There are case studies for the use of each component of the T.W.E.E.T. framework. Both actual user’s methods and idealized case study scenarios are detailed. Ms. Diaz-Ortiz has filled this book with practical steps and outlined goals that should be obtainable by any one who wants to use Twitter to help them change the world for good.

I have personally enjoyed working with Twitter – even though I must admit that I have been somewhat random in my approach. I like the 140 character message format far better than the other social networking tools I have experimented with. I have found it extremely useful to have the Twitter stream flowing on my screen while video editing or writing. Several times a day something flows past that catches my attention and actually amplifies my own work. As I write this review I am working on a new creation (for good) with some other like minded people who I met in the Twitter stream. This is exciting for me and should be exciting for you. “Twitter for Good” explained to me my own excitement for the Twitter medium.

“SMS  (simple messaging service or text messaging) is ubiquitous in the developing world (all the world actually) Poor and more affluent people alike understand the power of texting and employ it constantly. .. there are more cell phones than toilets in India. While SMS  offers principally one-on-one communications, Twitter’s “follow” design makes it much better suited to disseminating information. Fulfilling Twitter’s original SMS vision with a global footprint would likely bring great benefits worldwide.”  

April Rinne, director of WaterCredit at Water.org and World Economic Forum Young Global Leader

This brief statement nailed my fascination with this powerful tool. Twitter works so very well for me because it allows me to determine what and who to keep track of as I am attempting to be an agent for good in a world which desperately needs more and more such agents. You are able to tailor the stream to keep you abreast of the things you are working on and every once and a while a vital connection takes place. This magnifies each of our efforts in unpredictable ways. The 140 character format makes me formulate thoughts well in order to say what I mean. So very cool. Ms. Diaz-Ortiz has now provided me and everyone else, who will avail themselves of it, with a framework to use this tool effectively.

The book answers every question I had and points the way into uncharted territories which have mind boggling potential for increasing our personal and organizational effectiveness. Here is a short (by no means complete) list of the kind of topics “Tweet For Good” addresses.

Who should be on Twitter

Why should you be of Twitter

How should you use Twitter

How often should you Tweet

What should you write on Twitter

How does all of the new media functionality work and how do I use it

Features of Twitter and how to employ them effectively, #hashtags, lists, reply

Promoting products or ideas powerfully and with professionalism (no spam please)

How to engage your audience and how to engage as individuals using the Twitter platform

Using Twitter in Crisis Management

How to find the audience you want to connect with

How to track your results. Metrics are important

The bottom line is if you are using or think you should be using Twitter this book is a must read. Bravo – Thanks for delivering a vision for how we can work together so effectively to change the world for good.

This book is available on Amazon.com and there is a Kindle edition.

About ichthysgeneration

I am part of the generation of those who have sold out "their" lives to Jesus Christ. He is alive and wants us to live as He lives, doing the things Our Heavenly Father, Creator of the Universe and Man, asks us to do. On this journey I am a husband to Vicky, and a father to Carter Samuel Curtis. Our family lives an exciting life telling others about how Jesus has changed our focus and given us freedom and great joy. Vicky and I are on staff at a large church and right now Carter is a 2nd grader. We like to ride bikes, take walks, play at the beach, mess with computers, have long talks, study wildlife, read and listen to all kinds of music. Carter enjoys making up songs and drawing masterpieces. Carter and I are fascinated with the "wild west" and get to "play" Texas Rancher a couple of times a year. Vicky is the perfect wife and does a very convincing act of liking it as she encourages our antics. I have a passion for listening to the living Jesus as he relates the riches of His (and our) Father's wisdom and love to all humanity. By His being born among us, His death on the cross and His resurrection into new life, which we may share with Him, He has provided all we need for an incredible journey. I hope you are excited about joining with us and making yourself known as part of "The Icthuse Generation" on the great road!
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