The Ultimate Content Algorithm Hack

The Ultimate Content Algorithm Hack

1           The ultimate algorithm hack is "so what?" "So what?" means extracting yourself from dependency on playing a game whose rules you don't control. 

1.1         Think, write, and publish as if algorithms were irrelevant. Because for thought leadership, what matters is getting your ideas in front of the right people, not the largest number of people. 

1.1.1       If your revenue depends on algorithm conformity, just wait for the day the rules change. You don't have a strategy. You have a dependency. But you can prospect and sell differently. 

1.1.2      Most of the tips and tricks you read regarding the algorithm of a social platform are magical thinking at best. People take advantage of your desire to make uncontrollable forces seem predictable and manageable. Because lack of control feels precarious and scary. 

1.1.3      It's simple casino wisdom. Back away from slots and tables when you're never going to win. Don't listen to creepy casino lizards with systems. Screw them and unscrew yourself. 

1.2        If you can think of ten decision-makers who matter, write for them and share your content with them. Nothing else matters. 

1.3        The alternative to algorithms is simple. Honor the high stakes of the needs and decisions and then treat decision-makers accordingly. 

2          Algorithms act as interference that disrupts and disconnects us from the signals of our moral instincts—how we treat and speak to each other. 

2.1        Trying to write for an algorithm leaves you disarmed and abandoned. You end up with cliches and superstitions as your only shelter. 

2.2       Platforms are also institutions. 

2.2.1     Institutions beget mentalities by imposing behaviors. 

2.2.2    Algorithms are behavioral enforcement mechanisms--carrots and sticks. 

2.3       Participate in a system of toxic incentives long enough and they become norms, just like working in a toxic culture that normalizes cruelty and bullying. 

2.3.1     The mentality enforced by algorithmic platforms is the content mentality. 

2.3.2    The content mentality is the empty formalism of filling bottomless digital containers. With content, meaning is meaningless. Intersubjective communication disappears behind filling out forms in platform interfaces. 

3          It is extremely hard to achieve the good when you serve institutions instead of values--even when those institutions ostensibly exist for the sake of your values. 

3.1        Institutions inevitably only serve themselves and create incentives accordingly. 

3.1.1      The top performing posts on LinkedIn are posts about posting on LinkedIn, for example. 

3.2       "The medium is the message" takes on deeper and more oppressive implications in the world of content platforms. 

4          Content advocates want you to think we live in a world where "people don't read" or "people don't want to think." Read the news. Look around you. Do you like that world? Then why be complicit in it? 

5          Companies that focus on changing how their buyers think will be the ones that rise to the top. 

5.1        Thought leadership content influences thinking and decisions. Algorithmic content only influences attention. Worse, it stifles thinking. 

5.2       Stifled thought, stifled innovation.


Three Grace Notes

 "Surveillance capitalism rules by instrumentation power through its materialization in the Big Other, which, like the ancient tyrant, exists out of mankind while paradoxically assuming human shape...All that is needed can be found in Big Other's reassuring messages and emoticons, the press of the others not in terror but in their irresistible inducements to confluence." — Shoshana Zuboff, The Age of Surveillance Capitalism

 "6.371         The whole modern conception of the world is founded on the illusion that the so-called laws of nature are the explanations of natural phenomena.  
6.372          Thus people today stop at the laws of nature, treating them as something inviolable, just as God and Fate were treated in past ages." — Ludwig Wittgenstein, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus

"To be free of all authority, of your own and that of another, is to die to everything of yesterday, so that your mind is always fresh, always young, innocent, full of vigour and passion. It is only in that state that one learns and observes. And for this, a great deal of awareness is required, actual awareness of what is going on inside yourself, without correcting it or telling it what it should or should not be, because the moment you correct it you have established another authority, a censor." — Jiddu Krishnamurti, Freedom from the Known

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