“By golly I sure hope the algorithm picks me!”
‘The algorithm’ isn’t the only thing that can calculate. People can calculate, too. Everyone’s always running their own calculus to decide what’s worth clicking. And all calculations vary. A 5 minute video’s short for one person, TLDW for another.
So, us creators, what are we waiting for? To be deemed worthy by a system, something cold and heartless, something we’ll never meet face to face? A calculation – is that who we’re creating for? We’re creating for a string of numbers and letters and Greek symbols? Well, if the times are a-changin, I guess I’ll get a-goin. But I’d like to know a little more about this algorithm fella first. What’s he like? ‘s he nice? Got a family? Whars’ he from?
Will Mr. Algorithm tuck me into bed every night?
Will Mr. Algorithm whisper sweet nothings into my ear?
Is Mr. Algorithm…hot?
The thing about pleasing the algorithm is that if you please the algorithm, it’s supposed to please you back. If you make the right kind of content, the algorithm will shower you with subscribers, likes, retweets, and other things worth measuring more than how comfortable you are in your own skin. Don’t worry – the algorithm will never leave you with blue balls.
The algorithm is like a hooker that knows about all your dirty little kinks and fetishes. The algorithm knows just where you like to be touched. Yeah, right there. No, no, higher. Yeah. Yeah. Like that. Yeah. Like that. Just like that. It’s because the algorithm knows so much about us, and we know very little about it, that we need to be more mindful of our relationship with it. Our relationship with the algorithm turns toxic when we check how many people clicked our latest videos before we check to see if Grandma’s still alive.
Or, instead of trying to please the algorithm, we could try and please people. Real people. Real people with mouths that laugh, eyes that shine, and fingers that write good words. Real people we can entertain, educate, and bring together. An algorithm doesn’t care about being entertained or educated or any of that human nonsense. An algorithm really is like a hooker. It’ll make you feel good now. You’ll come back to feel good later. But eventually you’ll get that nagging sense that you want something more. Something real. Something human.
And all those human things you’re seeking? The algorithm completely lacks. The algorithm’s only job is to feed your innate narcissism a giant Subscriber Sub Sandwich with a side of Curly Retweets. An algorithm can’t laugh. An algorithm can’t be redeemed. An algorithm can’t find itself in a shitty job. An algorithm can’t hate itself. An algorithm doesn’t have a rotten life changed for the better by one of your videos or something you said on a podcast. And that’s why I think that making content just to please the algorithm is a sign of ambition turned sour.
Alright, let’s wrap up another post I thought wouldn’t go longer than 100 words. I don’t believe the algorithm itself is evil. It boosts creators who deserve recognition. That’s cool. Well, I don’t know. I might be assuming that the algorithm favors creators who’re out there making good content. But like I said before, us laypeople haven’t got a clue about how the algorithm actually works. Which brings me to my final point. Make things for people.
You know much more about what people like and how people work than you know about the algorithm. You know tears and smiles and comments about that sweater their ex used to wear and the scent of their cologne and how this song reminds them of their first kiss.
So make things for people.
Make things for people who’re stuck in shitty jobs.
Make things for people lost in their 20s.
Make things for people unsure about their 30s.
Make things for people in their 40s wishing they were back in their 20s.
Make things for people who care about themselves and about each other.
Make things for people who hate themselves and thus hate other people.
Make things for people who want to love themselves and other people but find it hard.
Make things for people just trying to get by.
Walk away from the robotic handjob.
Make things for people.