I Faked My Engagement

My friends woke up Monday morning to this post at the top of their Facebook news feed:

After a moment of “wtf” they would scroll down and see the rest:

I can’t decide if the best part of this photo is the yarmulke or the shit-eating grin.

I’m starting to create more things and I wanted to build a community over email. I’d naturally start emailing with friends, except these days I don’t have most of their emails. Facebook owns our relationship.

If I just made a regular post, no one would see it. I noticed that when my friends got engaged… the posts couldn’t be stickier.

And getting engaged (on Facebook at least) was only a few clicks away….

I wonder which of these life events gets the highest newsfeed boost. I would have loved to be a fly on the wall in Facebook HQ during *that* conversation.

It worked great. Within 24 hours, more than 10% of anyone I’ve ever met liked the post, and half of those subscribed.

Aaaand that’s exactly why I’m moving to email. It confirms yet that ad-driven platforms continue to inherently encourage an arms race of misleading/extreme content. I literally posted fake news.

I hope never to have to do that again.

It’s not just Russian content farms. It’s all of us — every post that’s just a liiiiittle more inflammatory. Every post title that’s slightly vague (yes, like this one). The incentives seep in to our brains.

Yes, that’s Medium included. And yes, I wrote this post for the same reason — to get your attention, and take this off of Medium.

So, hi! I’m going to start out making slide decks and other stuff, and email them out. (I’ll keep posting product and growth related stuff on Medium.)

Here are some topics I plan to share about:

  • Why algorithms are [already] our new bosses
  • How to ask good questions
  • How to apply jiu jitsu to things in life (not just use the cliche)
  • A post titled “Third world. Hippie. Shit hole. Redneck. Christian. Crazy. Poor. Homeless. Ghetto.”
  • …and lots more thoughts in my head

Finally: If you’ve followed me here until now and want to cut out the middleman, add your email below. It’s good to have you on board.

Medium sure doesn’t make it easy to disintermediate itself… so you’ll have to click the image for the form.