Read to the end for AI Matthew McConaughey
What, exactly, do we lose when we can’t do something in 15 minutes to make us go viral? Is that really necessary for anyone but the eyeball-harvesters and sponconners?
So, this is more of a reflection on Wednesday's AI-only post, but in the last 6 months of reading this mailing list it's amazing how it's gone from fun things on platforms to profoundly depressing and shitty.
The style of the writing hasn't changed - it's still fine. It's just that the tech world now just seems so much bleaker with AI-everything.
Interesting information / thoughts about TikTok. I deleted it some months ago. I was just spending too much time mindlessly scrolling through the videos. I liked it ... I didn't worry about China having access to my posts ... but I didn't need its presence in my day to day.
I have basically that printer, and I have had it for like five-plus years at this point. I can’t remember if I’ve ever replaced the toner. It’s great for anything that doesn’t need to be professionally printed, and anything that does need to be professionally printed I do get professionally printed (like archival photo prints).
Friendly reminder that "going viral" isn't something that "just happens". The companies choose what content goes viral (TikTok has actually confirmed this is what happens: https://www.theverge.com/2023/1/20/23564242/tiktok-heating-view-boosts-creators-businesses).
This is how all the big platforms have been for a while. A "regular person" CAN "go viral" but only if their post is specifically chosen to do so. There's a lot of behind-the-scenes engineering going on to make social media platforms feel like going viral is natural and "random", but the reality is that virality is a facade put in place so that people continue making high quality content for them for free.
If you haven't already read it, Cory Doctorow's "enshittification of TikTok" (specifically the part about the giant carnival teddy bears) is great: https://www.wired.com/story/tiktok-platforms-cory-doctorow/
Great post as always, Ryan!
And now I’m considering the printer…
To be honest... you can probably go viral on any platform in just 10 mins when you say the most outrageous stuff while being high on any trending substance, juggling 4 cute kittens.
And I think that's the real problem of this society because people would do this to get the likes!
Maybe I am the only person in America who doesn’t get an ounce of enjoyment out of Tiktok. My “For You” page has NEVER as in ZERO times shown me anything I’d ever spend a moment of time watching. It’s like this supposedly elegant and “all knowing” algorithm doesn’t know me at all, which I’m pretty ok with.
(And yes, I’ve refreshed my For You page and it still sucks.)