Top positive review
From the perspective of a participant - rabble
Reviewed in the United States on November 5, 2013
I'm Rabble, one of the people who helped start Odeo and i'm mentioned a bunch in the first couple chapters. This review might not be useful for evaluating the book as something to read, but i figured this might be a decent forum to provide a review.
The story is very well told. It's a captivating read. It's very surreal to read about your friends and former co-workers in a book like this. Most of us live our lives only ourselves. Having this book is kind of like having a well researched MTV Rock Documentary about our work, friendships, and time in our lives. I think if you interview enough people, look at what happened in any situation, it's easy to put a spin and story on things. None of us know the details of everybody else's life.
I wish there'd been more discussion about the technical and models we pulled from to build twitter. Where the ideas came from and how they were put together. It's very weird to see how much focus there is on people's drinking, clothing, hygiene, and being broke. That we were pulling from txtmob, the unix finger command, carlton university's status update system, bike messenger dispatch, blogger, etc... that's not as sexy a story. That we considered how to look at transitions of mediums from desktop to web, from web to mobile, as a place to create new systems for communications in old ways, isn't as cool as intrigue amongst friends who ended up creating twitter. There's a lot of the people and not as much understanding twitter and it's context.
The order of things as they happened and as they are told in the book isn't the same. This is ok, i think, mostly because the book is about telling the story of twitter's creation. It's no a strict chronology. Reordering things makes for a better story arc. There were a number of people not interviewed and i think their story was diminished. Some of us were talked about more because they fit a better story arc.
One last thing, i'd say that Twitter's management problems were due to lack of ability to come together and make a decision, and not the anarchists refusing to follow rules and allow order.