140 Characters: A Style Guide for the Short Form
The advent of Twitter and other social networking sites, as well as the popularity of text messaging, have made short-form communication an everyday reality. But expressing yourself clearly in short bursts-particularly in the 140-character limit of Twitter-takes special writing skill.
In 140 Characters, Twitter co-creator Dom Sagolla covers all the basics of great short-form writing, including the importance of communicating with simplicity, honesty, and humor. For marketers and business owners, social media is an increasingly important avenue for promoting a business-this is the first writing guide specifically dedicated to communicating with the succinctness and clarity that the Internet age demands.
- Covers basic grammar rules for short-form writing
- The equivalent of Strunk and White's Elements of Style for today's social media-driven marketing messages
- Helps you develop your own unique short-form writing style
140 Characters is a much-needed guide to the kind of communication that can make or break a reputation online.
Foreword by Jack Dorsey.
The Short Form.
The History of Twitter.
Part One: LEAD.
Chapter 1. Describe: A Brief Digression to Discuss Journalism Is Warranted.
Observe the Truth.
Play with Perspective.
Lead with Action.
Chapter 2. Simplify: Say More with Less.
Constrain Yourself to the Atomic Unit of One Message.
Appreciate Craftsmanship as a Thousand Small Gestures.
Start Small and Serve a Special Niche.
Limit Yourself to One Sentence, One Thought.
Chapter 3. Avoid: Don't Become a Fable about Too Much Information.
Remember What Not to Do.
Find Your Lowest Common Denominator.
Divine a Strategy against Too Much Information.
Part Two: VALUE.
Chapter 4. Voice: Say It Out Loud.
Extend Your Range.
Build Your Repertoire.
Strengthen and Amplify.
Chapter 5. Reach: Understand Your Audience.
Measure Reader Engagement.
Gauge the Reaction to Your Message.
Identify Your Fans.
Chapter 6. Repeat: It Worked for Shakespeare.
Enable Repetition of Your Message.
Repeat the Words of Others, Adding Your Mark in the Process.
Exploit the Twitter Effect.
Chapter 7. Mention: Stamp Your Own Currency.
Design Your Mark.
120 is the New 140.
Post One or Two Replies, Then Take It Offline.
Chapter 8. Dial: Search for Silence, Volume, and Frequency.
Pipe Up Just When It's Quiet.
Understand the Use of CAPITALS.
Discover Your “Office Hours”.
Chapter 9. Link: Deduce the Nature of Short Messages.
Study the Anatomy of a Single Message.
Share the Power of Hypertext.
Change the Meaning of Words by Linking Them.
Chapter 10. Word: Expose the Possibilities in Phraseology, Poetry, and Invention.
Design Your Own Pattern
Build Your Own Lexicon by Inventing New Words.
Poetry Is a Guide.
Part Three: MASTER.
Chapter 11. Tame: Apply Multiple Techniques Toward the Same End.
Technology Will Consume Us If We Don’t Learn to Control It.
Discover the Antidote to Each of 12 Stages.
Manage Multiple Accounts Effectively.
Remember: It's All about Timing.
Chapter 12. Cultivate: Meet 140 Characters, Each with a Unique Story.
Create a Culture of Fun.
Imagine Your Audience.
Focus on Learning.
Chapter 13. Branch: Steady, Organic Growth Is Most Manageable.
Don't Let Success Go to Your Head.
Do the Same Thing, but Differently.
Part Four: EVOLVE.
Chapter 14. Filter: Teach the Machine to Think Ahead.
A Little Programming Goes a Long Way.
Breaking Things Is a Path to Learning.
Chapter 15. Open: Give and You Shall Receive.
Never Limit Yourself to One Platform.
Chapter 16. Imitate: There Is Nothing Original, Except in Arrangement.
Become an Apprentice.
Take Someone Else's Style One Step Further.
Create a Caricature of Yourself.
Chapter 17. Iterate: Practice a Sequence of Tiny Adjustments.
Write Everywhere and Often.
Games for Words.
Part Five: ACCELERATE.
Chapter 18. Increase: Do More.
Produce a Series on a Short Subject.
Chapter 19. Fragment: Do It Smaller.
Decrease the Size of the Atomic Unit, the Message.
Twitter – the 140 character online service that allows users to share, discover and connect with anyone, anywhere in the world – has abruptly swept the globe, taking many by surprise. Business owners, celebrities and regular Joe’s alike have unabashedly criticized or made fun of the medium, rather than fully understanding its purpose, potential, and power.
Several books have been written by “social media experts” trying to explain the secrets behind Twitter and how anyone can use it to their advantage. Convincing companies to incorporate Twitter into their marketing strategies has become easier since competing companies have seen phenomenal results. However, according to Dom Sagolla, a co-creator of Twitter and author of the new book, 140 CHARACTERS: A STYLE GUIDE FOR THE SHORT FORM (Wiley; $17.95; Paperback Original), “the constraint of 140 characters is an opportunity for creative self-expression of all kinds. With Twitter and the short form, we have inadvertently invented a new genre of literature.”
With 140 CHARACTERS, Sagolla shares the way to develop a personal voice and make the most of your messages. 140 CHARACTERS aims to do for Twitter and other social networking sites what Strunk & White's The Elements of Style did for good writing via lessons in grammar and composition.
"Fragment. Then there is a sentence. Sentences become paragraphs. Inch by inch, a book is written." – Dom Sagolla
“The talkative habits of e-mail and superfluous chatter will be replaced by poetry and one-liners, the haiku and the hyperlink,” predicts Sagolla. In a world of three second attention spans, the short form is not just confined to Twitter, but also Facebook, LinkedIn, and text messaging. One will have to learn to say more with less: if there is a smaller word that means the same thing, use it. If there is a link to a reference, shorten it. “Wherever possible, use fewer words,” explains Sagolla. “This is harder than it sounds, but once you get past the basics of grammar you start getting into the really interesting aspects of poetry and word design.” Most of the advice in 140 CHARACTERS is focused on helping the reader to find the right words.
A handbook for an emerging class of writers and journalists, this book is written to include readers in the evolution of Twitter and the short format.
“We’ve defined a mere 1% of what Twitter is today. The other 99% is up to you.” – From the Foreword by Jack Dorsey
140 Characters: A Style Guide for the Short Form (US $17.95)
-and- CauseWired: Plugging In, Getting Involved, Changing the World (US $16.95)
Total List Price: US $34.90
Discounted Price: US $26.17 (Save: US $8.73)