Book Review: The Twitter Book, Second Edition, Tim O’Reilly and Sarah Milstein

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At only 244 pages, this book is not intimidating to anyone who is interested in knowing what Twitter is and how it works. As long as the reader understands basis computer knowledge, they should be able to read through this book and quickly become a twitter expert.

The authors write in easy to understand language and start right at the beginning, which is always a great place to start. The book takes them through how to set up an account, as well as defining the twitter lingo.

Anyone new to Twitter will be able to quickly understand the basics of how to use the site with the help of The Twitter Book. However, some of the information could become overwhelming at first, but be sure to keep The Twitter Book as a reference when you want to revisit old tweets, search for tweets, or have a chat.

As someone who originally did not see the benefits of Twitter and now am an active tweeter, I found the advanced information helpful, such as following live-event coverage and several searches.

The authors do a wonderful job of explaining all of the advanced extra websites that are associated with Twitter, such as TweetMeme to find out the most popular stories, or Topsy to keep track of links to your personal website. I find even the most advanced Tweeters do not know everything that Twitter can do on a regular basis using these sites.

Get The Twitter Book and start Tweeting!

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The Downside of the iPad: Part 2

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I love my iPad when it comes to social media. Following editing colleagues and mentors on twitter is a blessing. Quick email checks to make sure I do not miss out on any important clients is also made easier on the go with the iPad.

I want the iPad to be the answer to mobile marketing and running a business. However, the shortfalls keep it from being truly something this freelancer cannot live without. Part of my personal dilemma could be that I am a true PC girl at heart, so I do not have the aid of iPad-Mac compatibility.

I have found that although checking and replying to quick emails overall is a nice feature, especially with the app shortcut already signed in to my account, emailing clients is not always that easy. The example I will use is when I am emailing a client regarding a software feature or bug. There is back and forth email conversation, then they want to see a screenshot. I have the ability with the iPad to take the screenshot, but not the ability to add that picture to an email. Indeed, I can go to the image and tell it to email, but am not able to send a message with the picture or have it attached to the previous messages for reference.

I also do not like the idea of having to save files within each application. Again, as a PC girl, I like to search explorer and have all my client files together in one folder so they can be referenced later. Instead, I have a pdf file saved in the app for signing contracts, a file in documents program, as well as a file for the invoice. I personally use dropbox to keep track of my files between electronic devices. As stated in Part 1, every time I open the file on the iPad I must save a new local copy, leaving multiple versions.

I will add also that the last update caused me much anxiety because even with having a few backup versions of my iPad, other problems with the update led me to wonder if I would ever see my information again. Especially since some of those apps are the only places I have that information. There is really no way to access some of the information if not on the iPad itself. This would cause serious issues if the iPad had not recovered from it’s latest upgrade.

The tablet as a general electronic is a terrific piece of technology and I definitely see that in a few years, everyone will have to have an iPad and laptops will not be as abundant. Until then, I plan to keep mine around.

The Downside of the iPad: Part 1

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When the original iPad came out, I was very excited at the possibility to run my freelance business without hauling the laptop with me wherever I went. As a manuscript editor, I felt the iPad had the potential to allow me to bring up a document and edit to my heart’s content. Instead, I feel my time is spent more on getting the iPad to cooperate with my document then actually having productive work time.

The first downfall is that there is no official Microsoft Office program. Documents To Go is a good app to view Microsoft Documents, but a local copy must be saved before the file can be edited. For me, this produces too many “versions” of the document and could be confusing. I want to open a document, make changes, and close out.

On a more personal note, my husband and I use an excel spreadsheet to track spending. I first felt the iPad would be great to add a quick entry, but it takes too much time to open the file, make a local copy, edit the file, and save the local copy to Dropbox. In all of that time, I could have my computer booted up, fixed the file, and saved.

I would love to hear opinions anyone has about how they have overcome shortfalls of the iPad.