How I Made A Prize Winning Twitter Header

1918 winning twitter header

The winner!

Today I won a fun contest based ostensibly on a cool Twitter header.

Marty Smith dreamed up the contest during a visit from his genius a couple of weeks ago combining the best aspects of vanity baiting, gamification and ego.

The idea was to throw a bunch of people into a contest each week, and eventually pit the weekly winners against each other in a final runoff vote.

The final week was the most fun because I got to go head-to-head with my friend Gregory Ng. The down side is that Greg is an online juggernaut  If needed he could call on his minions from his famous frozen food show and crushed me like a frozen grape, but he showed mercy and fought with one hand tied behind his back.

In the end I used some of my pretend money on EmpireAvenue to encourage people to vote for me and I won.

Later that day while trading snarky remarks, Greg was giving me grief over the fact that he spent time making an original background while I had used a plain photograph.


The truth is, I spent about 4 hours working on my background, and I wanted to explain the process.

I started by putting up a very quick background as soon as I could access the new Twitter background feature.

Original twitter header background

My original twitter header background

I liked that one because it was my Red Sox and the Green Monster, but I felt like it didn’t really reflect the core concept of my Twitter handle (and domain) – 1918.

My next attempt stemmed from my association of the 1918 Red Sox’s star pitcher.

2nd twitter header - Babe Ruth

2nd twitter header – Babe Ruth

I really liked this header, but on my iPhone the header image showed Babe Ruth’s face when you swiped to page two, and I liked the idea of my face being super-imposed. So I tried again.

1918 Twitter header - Fenway World Series plaque

1918 Fenway World Series plaque

Nope. I couldn’t get this background to work because of the white text.

My next attempt was from the Red Sox teams of my youth. The Red Sox in the 1970’s were a great team to idolize as a boy. Great ballpark, great characters and lots of homeruns. Did I mention the greatest game in history?

1970's Red Sox Twitter header

1970’s Red Sox Twitter header

The black and white photos were difficult to get just right, so I started looking for something more stylized. I tried some night shots.

Twitter header image from behind Fenway's Green Monster at night

Twitter header image from behind Fenway’s Green Monster at night

I really liked this and it was in the finals with another night shot.

Twitter header Fenway Park at dusk

Twitter header Fenway Park at dusk

As much as I liked the night scenes, they didn’t really have anything to do with 1918. So I dug through more of the Boston Public Library’s archives on Flickr. I spent a long time in their baseball collection looking through almost all 1,704 photos.

When I found this one of Harry Hooper sliding into third base, I thought it might just work!

Hooper safe at third, 3rd baseman mid-air

Hooper safe at third, 3rd baseman mid-air

The photo worked ok, but my first cropping of it had Harry Hooper’s head lost right in the middle, so I slid it over a bit so that the image ended up working well in the desktop version as well as the mobile version.

I would like to thank Martin Smith for dreaming up this contest from his perch at Atlantic BT and all of my friends that supported me and all the other participants.

So what do you think? Did I make the right choice?


  1. I think it’s the best one because it’s an image from your childhood! ;)

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