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Sunday, December 11, 2011

Book: "A Twitter Year"

TITLE: A Twitter Year - 365 days in 140 characters
AUTHOR/COMPILER: Kate Bussman and Fellow Twitterers
PUBLISHER: Bedford Square, London: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc, 2011, (286 pages).

This is the first published book of its kind. The basic idea is to bring together in one book a list of 'tweets' that covers a range of issues around the world. Recognizing the prominent place in which Twitter has become in terms of news dissemination, this book may be the beginning of a new breed of authors and publishers. According to the book's research, the number of tweets per day range from a low of 65 million (June 2010) to a high of 230 million in September 2011. According to Twitter, there are more than 100 million twittering accounts. What makes Twitter the place to go to is the speed in which information is being updated. A number of years ago, the defacto place to go for breaking news is the TV. Following the TV is the speed of Internet updates on various news websites. Now, the crown is being given to the two forerunners of social networking: Twitter and Facebook.

A number of months ago, the author, Kate Bussman very courteously asks me if she could use my tweet in this book. I gladly agreed, not simply because it is nice to share my tweet, but also because of the manner in which Bussman and the publisher handled the request. They promised me this book, which they duly delivered the week the book gets published. Here is my snapshot of what they sent me, (including my tweet).

Apart from seeing my tweet published, I marvel at how Bussmann is able to distill the millions of tweets into the various categories. There are 7 major sections where the tweets are classified. These include 'politics and current affairs,' 'royalty and religion,' 'celebrity,' 'science and nature,' 'sport and leisure,' 'arts, culture & media,' and a miscellaneous section entitled, 'a tweet a day.'

Three things stand out for me. Firstly, the book is able to provide the positive and negative tweets to provide a balanced presentation of tweets for each issue. One can easily thumb through the categories with the convenient tabs provided. Secondly, this book itself gives us a snapshot of the world in the past 365 days, simply by using Twitter. It tells me how the world has changed in terms in information sharing. Not only is it free, it is also fast. Thirdly, the careful selections of tweets mean that a lot of tweets have to be excluded from publication. This means a conscious decision on the part of the author and publisher to choose. This is no easy feat, considering the tonnes of data coming through each day. This book is an excellent example how social networking, self-publishing, and traditional book publishing and printing can be combined into one handy volume.

Thanks for selecting my tweet, Kate!


This book is provided to me free, courtesy of the author and Bloomsbury Publishing without any obligation for a positive review. The comments above are offered freely mine.

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