How To Properly Respond To a Tweet

One of the big complaints about Twitter and social media, in general,​ is how impersonal it feels. You can share with the world a new job, a new baby, or some other huge milestone and all you get is friends spending a half second of their life clicking a little heart button.

Maybe instead of sharing life moments, you decide to share an opinion on something you’ve been thinking about for the last five days. Then instantly get overwhelmed with pedantic responses ​and righteous indignation.

Many people are leaving social media because of this, and both Dorsey and Zuckerberg are getting a lot of anxiety from this epidemic and I’ve heard they aren’t sleeping well. I’ve found what I believe is the perfect solution to stop this vicious cycle. I think its time we all come together and do what our forefathers did. Write a letter.

Because this is a lost art, I’m going to go through each step and show you how it’s done.

Find, Print, and Cut out the tweet

Find a Tweet that you really want to respond too. Next, open Photoshop and create a new printable document (just a standard page size). Make a screenshot of the Tweet and add it in various sizes:

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Print it out and cut out each Tweet with scissors.

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Attach the Tweet To a Piece of Paper

Get some tape or glue or whatever and attach the Tweet to a piece of paper.

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Write your message

Now, get your most excellent fountain pen and write out your response. Your forefathers would write this message in cursive, and if you are responding to someone older, it’s acceptable.

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Put it in an envelope

You’ll need to buy an envelope if you don’t have any around the house. Just be careful when opening as we wouldn’t want a paper cut to send us the ER.

Fold your original letter into thirds and place it in the envelope. Next, lick or seal the back.

Bonus: Becoming Verified!

No gatekeepers​ here! If you want to be verified, you can be verified, and it looks way cooler than a digital blue checkmark.

This is an advanced step and you’ll need some supplies:

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Melt some wax on the back and use your seal to make your verified stamp.

Find their address

This step is a little tricky. You’ll need to find the persons mailing address, and few people put this on their “contact me” page. So you’ll need to do some detective work.

Once it’s found, write this on the front of the envelope, head to the post office to get a stamp, and send it off. In a few days, it’ll arrive at their house and they will get read your beautiful prose and your well-thought​ opinion.

Enjoy!

FAQ:

Q. Is this not too much trouble?
A. Yes, thank you Capt. Obvious.

Q. Are you telling me to really spend an hour of my life replying to a Tweet?**
A. Sure why not.

Q. What if I get stuck at any of the above steps?**
A. Then your 2¢ isn’t worth sharing.

Facebook Really Spams You to Come Back

Sarah Frier writing for Bloomberg:

It’s been about a year since Rishi Gorantala deleted the Facebook app from his phone, and the company has only gotten more aggressive in its emails to win him back. The social network started out by alerting him every few days about friends that had posted photos or made comments—each time inviting him to click a link and view the activity on Facebook. He rarely did.

Then, about once a week in September, he started to get prompts from a Facebook security customer-service address. “It looks like you’re having trouble logging into Facebook,” the emails would say. “Just click the button below and we’ll log you in. If you weren’t trying to log in, let us know.” He wasn’t trying. But he doesn’t think anybody else was, either.

I’ve been getting these emails too and what was weird to me is I have two accounts, one super old that I deleted years ago, and another that is current. I would get the same “It looks like you’re having trouble logging into Facebook,” email at the same minute. Which means either someone knows both my emails and can attempt the login really fast, I’m on some bot list or something else entirely.

Hearing this story makes me think it’s either a widespread bug on Facebook or they are indeed being shady. Unfortunately​, based on their history I’m not sure I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.

Streaks

At the end of December, ​I always take a week or two off and use it as a time of regrouping, planning, and just relaxation before the new year starts. 2017 was no different and during that time I felt like I wanted to do something different to start the year.

Some writing or creation that was totally for me​. I decided to attempt to blog something every day, and “something” was taken very liberal. It could be just a quote, or a picture, commentary on a story, or something that was on my mind. It didn’t matter as long as I hit publish every day.

Back around six months ago, I noticed that I was going through something internally where I stopped wanting to publish any new content on my primary site. As I looked inward to figure out why, I noticed that it all came down to popularity and traffic. The site had its best year yet and tons of people are visiting it all across the world, which you would think would make you want to publish more, but that wasn’t the case.

Just thinking about that put me in a mental shutdown. I became too worried about making everything perfect and worried about feedback and just negativity all around on my part.

Flashback to December and I had this in my mind when I made the goal to publish something every day, and I jumped in, but I decided to not share new posts on social media, to leave the comments open, and treat it like no one would be reading. I will admit as the month dragged on finding inspiration for content got harder and harder, but I struggled with it.

I made a few mistakes where I didn’t uncheck the social share options and had a few good discussions, but over all, I call this month a success. I meet my goal. I had fun. Most of all it has taken the negativity away from publishing.

I’m not sure what the rest of this year will look like for this site, but I hope to continue posting more, and I doubt I’ll share it on social media. So join the old school RSS feed if you want to stay up to date. Or not. 🙂

Watch The Total Lunar Eclipse Online

From the NASA announcement:

If you live in the western part of North America, Alaska, and the Hawaiian islands, you might set your alarm early the morning of Wednesday, Jan. 31 for a lunar trifecta: a pre-dawn “super blue blood moon.”

Beginning at 5:30 a.m. EST on Jan. 31, a live feed of the Moon will be offered on NASA TV and NASA.gov/live. You can also follow at @NASAMoon.Weather permitting, the NASA TV broadcast will feature views from the varying vantage points of telescopes at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in Edwards, California; Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles; and the University of Arizona’s Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter Observatory.

“For the (continental) U.S., the viewing will be best in the West,” said Gordon Johnston, program executive and lunar blogger at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “Set your alarm early and go out and take a look.”

The Jan. 31 full moon is special for three reasons: it’s the third in a series of “supermoons,” when the Moon is closer to Earth in its orbit — known as perigee — and about 14 percent brighter than usual. It’s also the second full moon of the month, commonly known as a “blue moon.” The super blue moon will pass through Earth’s shadow to give viewers in the right location a total lunar eclipse. While the Moon is in the Earth’s shadow it will take on a reddish tint, known as a “blood moon.”

For more information on what to expect check out this video:

 

Digitally Storing Book Quotes

In the past few years, I made the jump from digital books back to analog, and one of the first reasons I moved was because of the price. On a lot of books you can get the paperback cheaper than the eBook, and the hardcover for just a few dollars more.

But as I started building out my library a lot of other interesting things began to happen. I feel like I can remember where I read stuff better, I can flip through the book more comfortably, I can let friends and family borrow them, and it gets my eyes off the screen. Tons of wins!

However, one downside is converting quotes into digital notes for easier retrieval. In the past what I’ve been doing is marking the spot and then grabbing my phone and manually typing it all out. It’s a very slow process and not that great. The other option is to take a photo of it, but then those aren’t searchable.

Today I came across this post on using the Day One app as a Commonplace Book or what I call a Morgue File, basically a place to dump “all the things” so you have one place to look and search in the future.

In that post, they recommended an app called Scanner Pro from Readdle that is your camera on steroids. You can take a picture, and it will then OCR the text, electronic conversion of images of text into machine-encoded text, and allow you to copy and paste into whatever app you want.

It works surprisingly well but it is clunky because of all the steps involved going between two different apps, but still way faster than manually typing it all out.

Of course, a tool like this can be useful in a lot of other scenarios as well. For instance, digital scanning receipts for taxes, documents you need to email, and more. Scanner Pro priced at $3.99 is not a bad deal and I’m certain there​ are others on the market that might be free or even less expensive.

How about you? Do you have any tips for taking better notes and quotes when reading analog books? I’d love to hear them in the comments below.

Pitching Your Product to a Journalist

In my spare time, I run a tech news site, and I am constantly getting bombarded with pitches to cover everything from code packages, to SAAS apps, to new tools and utilities. Including things like this is why I initially started the site and I love it.

I love helping people by boosting interest in what they’ve spent their time creating, and I love the relationships it brings.

One of the downsides is time. I have a set number of hours every night that I can dedicate to the site either through writing new posts or managing the business side. But with a full-time job, a family, and other hobbies it’s honestly limited.

If you are making a pitch to me here are some things I am looking for:

  1. A Heads Up. Giving me a heads up that you will be launching in a few days is fantastic, and it helps me plan a post to coincide with your launch. That helps both of us. But I need a press release, so I can sit down and write it. I can’t follow up with 100 questions. I will honor an embargo, but I will not sign an NDA.
  2. That I can understand it. You’d be surprised how many things people send me that I have no idea what it is. I’m not going to waste my time attempting to figure it out. I’ll move on.
  3. That it’s ready. I will not cover your creation until it’s fully launched. No landing pages, no newsletter signups. It has to be purchasable, downloadable, or usable or I’ll move on.
  4. That I understand the use case. Please give some examples of why what you’ve created is useful.

Remember I am not expert in your domain and all I want to do is write an article on it. I don’t want to spend hours trying it out, and I don’t want to make mistakes in covering it. Help me by explaining what makes your product unique, why the world should care, and what features are essential. The more you can help me the more I can help you.

I know this post comes across as selfish, but as I look at my mailbox with dozens of pitches just sitting there, I needed to document ways that we can better work together.