Third Tuesdays & Twitterville Monday September 21, 2009

On Wednesday evening I went to my first Third Tuesday Meet-up for Shel Israel’s Canadian book tour for Twitterville. First off, let us all just ignore the fact that it was a Wednesday and not a Tuesday. Logistically, if the tour revolved around the five or six Third Tuesday meet-ups in major Canadian Cities pour Shel would have been cooped up in Canadian hotele for the next 5-6 months … Anyways, I’m digressing.

As this was my first Third Tuesday, I really had no preconceived expectations for this gathering of Social Media Evangelists. But needless to say I was pleasantly surprised with the event. It was really well run and the amount of knowledge passed around in conversation was a kin to the types of dialogue that one would expect to find at SXSW. Which is a dramatic change from the hair pulling frustration of most networking events in Calgary.

Overall, it was fantastic event and definitely one that I will be trying to attend in foreseeable future. So kudos to the organizers.

Twitterville & Shel Israel

So now on to the meat of the evening – Shel Israel and his new book Twitterville.

I won’t go into immense details about the book, as I will probably do a better review on the corporation’s blog later, but I will give a synopsis of some key points that Shel did touch upon.

As a speaker, Shel is a mesmerizing storyteller. The beauty of his talk (and the 50 pages of Twitterville that I’ve leafed through so far) is Shel’s ability to encapsulate a somewhat complex and difficult concept with a handful of choice words and anecdotes. He has a knack for taking the how, what and why of a story and converting it into a logical reason for his cause in a matter of seconds. Something that was completely evident through his hour and a bit chat on Wednesday night.

During his talk, Shel leveraged some of the meaty anecdotes from Twitterville to engage the audience in a dialogue regarding the use of Twitter as a business tool. From his stories regarding Ford’s struggles with the Ford Ranger club to David Alston’s effect on U-Haul’s customer service policy; Shel was able to make key points about twitter as a business tool, while backing them up with simple and provocative examples. For those familiar with Twitter and its professional capabilities, these few quotes might not resonate as strongly for those who haven’t looked at the service in this light before. But below are some of the more interesting morsels of knowledge that Shel brought up during his talk.

Twitter is the place where people act (online) in the most honest of natures.

Twitter encourages and leverages the cult of generosity.

There is nothing faster in a crisis than Twitter (in reference to the Iranian Elections and attacks in Mumbai).

Things [and moments] happen on twitter, that couldn’t happen in real life.

You very rarey begin a business conversation with business. On twitter, businesses cannot connect with their audience unless they interact on a personal level first.

While these tidbits of knowledge probably would have worked better in a twitter stream during the talk, I’ve found them very refreshing. As someone who works with businesses trying to leverage twitter, sometimes the most difficult task is to justify the benefits of Social Media for businesses. Shel’s tidbits are great food for thought and something that people looking at exploring this new marketing avenue should reflect upon.

As mentioned, I plan on exploring Twitterville a little more indepth at a later date, but in the mean time take these tidbits with you and consider picking up a copy at your local book store or at Amazon.

Categories: The-Twitter-verse, The-Calgary-Vibe,

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