Creating a business book made of tweets


I’m taking part in an interesting experiment to create a business book entirely via 140-character comments posted on Twitter.

It’s the brainchild of Toby Bloomberg:

So what’s a Twitter-book you may be asking? It’s a book written using Twitter as platform and distribution channel. Social Media Marketing GPS #smgps is the first business book to experiment with this format.

This Twitter-book is structured as a "real" business book and includes: a foreword, introduction and chapters. Each chapter will have a 1 question interview with people knowledgeable about the topic. All posts will be hash-tagged #smgps.

My contribution was a series of tweets on how podcasts can support and extend a social media strategy for Chapter 6 in the book, which I did yesterday.


You can read those tweets, all 24 of them, which Toby captured in a post on the SMGPS blog.

As it’s about podcasting, you can also listen to or download a narration which I recorded after tweeting (and if you see an embedded Flash player at the top of this page, you can listen here and now).

unfollowing Planning the tweets took a little forward thinking as the order in which you tweet is the reverse of what comes naturally to reading (compare what you see in the screenshot above to what Toby posted).

Plus I learned an important lesson about how and when you tweet doing something like this that can look like loud noise or even spam to some people, who might react in a way you might not wish, eg, by unfollowing you.

That happened! (Sorry, jsenior.)

My mistake was sending out 24 tweets one after the other in just two batches of 12 each. No wonder James said ‘AKK’. Next time: space them out far more, maybe one or two minutes in between tweets.

Still, the Social Media Marketing GPS Twitter book is an interesting idea and I’m happy to be part of it all.

Neville Hobson

Social Strategist, Communicator, Writer, and Podcaster with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Believer in an Internet for everyone. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.

  1. John McGarvey

    Ah, so this explains your rash of tweets yesterday. Seems like a vaguely-interesting idea, but, other than the fact that it taps into the current hype around Twitter, I don’t see much benefit of doing it this way.

    I always thought one of Twitter’s advantages is that it gives you a very limited space to say what you want to say. If your message runs to 24 tweets, I think perhaps another medium might be more appropriate. Like a blog post, perhaps.

    Or have I missed the point altogether?

  2. Toby

    @Neville – What a great example of the conversion of tweets and podcasts. Thank you for graciously participating in my experiment to learn if a business book could be written and distributed using Twitter. In 24-tweets you provide as much value as in 24 pages :-)

    @Allan – thanks for your vote of support!

    @John – I appreciate your feedback of how tweets might be “flighted.” There was/is a concern how multiple tweets would be perceived by Followers. This is an issue that is also relevant to tweet-interviews in general. What is too many tweets?

    Why a tweet-book? I wanted to see if using 140 characters, or less, if a tweet could stand on its on as a thought and at the same time integrate into a larger idea. As a friend said to me this is a “white space” book. Neville’s section is a wonderful example that it can be done. Does the “all-tweet book” work? At this point it’s about 1/2 finished. Let’s examine lessons learned in a couple of weeks.

Comments are closed.