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Book Review: 140 Characters: A Style Guide for the Short Form by Dom Sagolla


Dom Sagolla was one of the very first users of Twitter ~ Twitter User #9. In 140 Characters: A Style Guide for the Short Form, Sagolla shares some tips on how to work within the short message format common to Twitter and other social media. He also offers a brief glimpse into the creation and development of Twitter, which I found to be quite interesting.

I picked this book up on a whim at the library one day. I figured that perhaps it would offer some innovative ways I could use Twitter to promote my blogs, since that is really the only reason I am on Twitter. But I have to say I was pretty disappointed with the book. It says on the back that the book is "for marketers and business owners" but honestly the examples and ideas Sagolla presents sound more like ways the everyday person can make themselves appear more interesting or cool on Twitter. He never really talks about how to market or promote a brand or product or service in 140 characters or less. So I didn't find the content to be very useful for my own purposes.

I also had a hard time with the writing style, which was rambling and disjointed ~ I felt like I was reading a book of tweets! He actually offers many, many examples of past tweets that are supposed to support his comments throughout the book. But there were quite a few tweets that made me stop and re-read all the copy around them to try to determine how they related at all to what he was discussing at the time. I couldn't always figure it out.

In the end, this book just was not for me. I think if you're extremely active on Twitter and are looking for a way to stand out and be more interesting, you may want to consider checking it out at your library. But if you're looking for advice on using Twitter as a marketing tool, I wouldn't recommend this one.

My Rating: 2/5

For more information, visit the book's website.

This review was written based on a copy of 140 Characters: A Style Guide for the Short Form that I borrowed from the library.

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