Death to Bullshit

Soul in the game

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Now it’s time for a special announcement!

ANNOUNCEMENT: I signed a book deal!

If you know me, you know I’m writing a book about memes!

I was going to self-publish it, but then it caught the eye of a publisher.

Now my 1st book Memes Make Millions is available for pre-sale. Learn the tricks to meme marketing from the best in the biz.

Includes interviews with memelords like Jack Raines, Charlie Rich, KnowYourMeme, BoredElonMusk, VCBrags, WallStreetConfessions, and more.

Special thanks to my publisher/editor/friend Ellen Fishbein. It’s been a lot of laughs and goofy convos. You can read her post here.

Ok onto today’s newsletter.

There’s a lot of bullshit online. A metric shit-ton of bullshit.

There’s so much bullshit that in 2013, designer Brad Frost gave a talk called Death to Bullshit. After watching it, I had to write my own post about it.

“90% of everything is crap.”

This idea known as Sturgeon’s Law was coined by science fiction author Theodore Sturgeon way back in 1956. “Why was there so much crap science fiction?” he wondered. Well, if only he could see social media today 🤯

On social media, 99% of everything is crap. 99% of people aren’t willing to put real thought or effort into their content. They post ChatGPT-written tweets or quick TikToks and wonder why they don’t succeed. They don’t realize they’re competing against people who are deadly serious and treat this shit like a craft. They may have skin in the game, but they don’t have soul in the game.

Because of this, most people clutter the web with more and more bullshit. I remember a few months ago, I saw an SEO guy brag about how he helped a startup post like 10,000 blogs using ChatGPT. I almost threw up. It’s like this dude just shat all over the internet. Disgusting.

As a creator, you are the artist and the internet is your canvas. Are you gonna make bullshit or are you gonna try as hard as you can to make something beautiful? Think in decades, not days.

“We are here, we have this tremendous opportunity to share with one another, to put something out in the world, to create something that’s truly meaningful and sincere. We have a decision to make. Do we care about craft and sincerity and everything is good or do we want to take the shortcuts? Do we want to cut corners and just contribute to the noise? It’s Sturgeon’s Law: do we want to contribute to the 10% or the 90%? The decision is yours.”

Brad Frost, Death to Bullshit

Frost’s blog Death to Bullshit has the coolest feature I’ve ever seen. You can turn on and off the bullshit. See below. It’s the same site.

Now we don’t all need the same basic black-and-white 1-page website. That’d be awful. It works for him because it fits Frost’s death-to-bullshit minimalist brand, but I think there’s something to be learned here.

Have you ever tried going on Forbes or Business Insider? My computer slows down from the ads so much I have to close the tabs within seconds. I know I could get an ad blocker or whatever, but think about it. I shouldn’t need one. These are the “reputable” brands. That my friends is bullshit.

There’s something to be said about the fact that Craigslist hasn’t changed their website in 10 years and it makes $600 million/year with a team of 50 people. Meanwhile the clunky Meta is laying off people by the thousands.

Craigslist knows their avenue and is sticking with it. They never tried to build a social network or an Uber-of-X app. They know they’re a forum and they stay content being a forum and making their millions in job postings and ads.

Meanwhile Meta doesn’t know what it is anymore. When you scroll on Instagram, it feels like it’s just influencers, ads, and Reels. We all miss the days when we could see our friends’ photos. Even mega-influencer Kylie Jenner posted “Make Instagram Instagram again”. In essence, Kylie was saying “death to bullshit”. Meanwhile the parent company going all in on the metaverse has been an obvious failure. More bs.

This blog is about content strategy and career hacks for creators, not web design or startups. So maybe you’re asking how this is helpful. Let me clarify a bit. The strategy here is to cut the bullshit. In the words of Deep Work author Cal Newport, “do less, better”.

Cut the bullshit. Do less, better.

“If you seek tranquility, do less”

Marcus Aurelius

6 weeks ago, I saw this quote in a post by my friend Billy Oppenheimer, a brilliant writer and research assistant for Ryan Holiday.

It took me 6 weeks and a deep talk with Billy to realize a harsh truth — I was tweeting too much bullshit. I needed to be more discerning with what I share. My audience’s attention is too valuable to waste on half-assed tweets.

So in the last couple weeks, I’ve been doing a little experiment on Twitter and tbh I’ve been feeling quite tranquil. Instead of tweeting 3-4 short ideas per day, I’ve been tweeting out 1 tweet per day about topics like:

  • Jim Carrey’s brilliant graduation speech (tweet)

  • The future of the education system (tweet)

  • Seth Rogen writing Superbad at age 13 (tweet)

They’ve been popping off with over 2 million views on the first 10 posts. I feel a lot more relaxed trying to post 1 great banger everyday instead of trying to post 3-4 short bangers everyday. It’s a lot less work and context switching. I still post memes and quick thoughts, but I’m trying to keep everything very high-signal: either very funny or very helpful.

“14 A+ TikToks will beat out 100 C+ TikToks any day of the week,” said social media manager Tommy Clark. He’s 100% right. 1 A+ tweet/day beats out 5 C+ tweets/day. The algorithm wants bangers, give it some bangers.

“Because YouTube is trying to serve the best content, they don’t want to serve you 100 lame videos. They want to serve you 1 good one. So it’s all about helping them make their videos really good.”

Twitter, YouTube, TikTok, whatever. They’re all the same. They’re trying to feed you the best content possible. Help them out and they’ll help you.

There are ~500 million tweets posted everyday. 99% of social media is crap. Do you want to be part of the 99% or 1%?

The decision is yours.

Creators Corner

3 things that helped me be a better creator this week:

✏️ Faster Than Normal is a cool newsletter on thinking, working, and achieving faster by using mental models. Join 30,000+ readers here.

🎤 I went on a walk through Central Park and listened to Derek Sivers on the Tim Ferriss podcast. Banger. Sivers a brilliant weirdo author/entrepreneur.

🐦 If you need a Twitter scheduler, I highly recommend Tweet Hunter. You can find hot tweets, do auto-DMs, and even hire ghostwriters like me on there.

Thanks for reading nerds.

Create some cool shit this week.

Jason Levin

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