Holiday Cards

   I send out a holiday card at the end of the year that always gets a good response... it's a combination of beautiful images and good ideas. Here's what I do: It's composed of my best photo work and my best work on Twitter. I tag photos as 5-star, 4-star, etc. in Photo Mechanic, so it's easy to find my best photos. In Twitter, it gets a little more complicated.

For several years, I would favorite only my own work, so that made it pretty easy... I'd just find my own faves and use the best of them. But in more recent times, I decided that it's kinda presumptuous to only fave my own stuff, so I've started using the fave button on tweets that are actually my favorites, no matter who they come from.

   I've also started organizing my tweets in a better way. Go to, then click your head shot or avatar in the upper right corner. Click Settings in the drop-down menu. On the Settings page, click the "Request your archive" button near the bottom. In several minutes, Twitter will send you an email telling you that your archive is ready, with a link to download the archive. Do it.

   If you've done this before, you'll already have a spreadsheet with your old tweets. Delete those from the download and add the new ones from the download into the spreadsheet. If this is new to you, save the entire download as your tweet-sheet.

   I delete most of the columns from Twitter, leaving only the date & time column and the text of the tweet itself. I then add five columns: fave, classic quote, #, quote, and tweetcast. Fave is yellow; classic quote is red; # is blue; quote is orange; tweetcast is green. I freeze the header row so these are always visible no matter where I scroll on the spreadsheet. When I enter something somewhere down the sheet, I copy the header row and modify, so the entry has a color background that makes it easier to see when scrolling fast.

   The fave column is easy; it's the tweets I favorite for whatever reason.

I use the classic quote column for quotations from other people that are so good I might want to retweet them someday. For the most part, these are things I've heard someone say and I'm quoting them on it. Occasionally, it might be something I read that someone else said. It's never (to date) anything I've said. For each classic quote, I put the person's Twitter username (if they're on Twitter) or first and last names (if they're not) in this column.

   The # (hashtag) column is either tweets I've hashtagged while tweeting, or to which I want to add a hashtag (subject) later. It makes it really easy to find all the #WalkAppeal tweets, for example, while I'm writing the Walk Appeal book, which is what I'm doing now.

   The quote column (the orange one, not the red classic quote column) is the one where I flag all the quotes from other people that are good. I curate this column for the best work, and tag those quotes in the classic quotes column... the ones that are great. In both columns, I enter the person's username if they're on Twitter or full name if they're not.

   The Tweetcast column is where I tag events I've tweetcasted. The first one I did in earnest was the Seaside at 30 conference in January 2011. I got close to 30 new followers during that event, and quickly learned that people appreciate tweetcasting. I've debated whether to include side conversations during those events, but have discovered that they're some of the most entertaining tweets.

   ~Steve Mouzon

© 2012 The Guild Foundation Press