I picked up Twitterville at the library last week. I found it to be a quick read. The way that it was written makes it perfect for those who have not tried Twitter as well as to those that have been on for a while.
Like The Whuffie Factor, I enjoyed the case studies about how companies have used Twitter the most. As Israel states in his book, he used the crowd sourcing method to come up with anecdotes and stories to complete his book. That is really quite smart to use the wisdom of the crowd, to make both an interesting book, but to also ensure that it is one that people would like to read.
Israel makes a case for twitter being a watershed communication platform, comparing it to the telephone. In my opinion, we a re bit early in the curve to making a comparison such as that, but I do agree that Twitter is changing communication in a huge way.
Shel makes his own case that Facebook got overrun with nonsense and now he is spending more time on Twitter. I agree here as well. Facebook seems more evolutionary for most users. In my experience, many people are posting pics of their kids and putting up status updates as to their travel. It is social networking for sure, but in m experience it is almost always about fun and rarely has a serious slant.
Twitter has much more value as it works much more as a conversation. Depending on your mood, conversations can be as entertaining or as businesslike as you like.
Twitter helped me make a decision about a bike purchase earlier this year for example. Just last night, I was helping a Tweeter make a decision on some Mac audio software. The way that you communicate with followers or use twittersearch to find folks discussing a topic of interest is much more valuable to me.
As I stated above, I would recommend Twitterville to all people interested in Twitter from the newbies to folks that have been on awhile. hearing some of the background stories on the Twitterati was worth the admission price alone.