Matt’s Mix Tape, Vol. 105
Hi, I’m Matt Tillotson and this is Matt’s Mix Tape, a weekly Mix of ideas on writing and content strategy for the Creator Age.
This week’s Mix:
Double agents in the wild world of Apple leaks
The Killers’ Brandon Flowers on writing with persistence and patience
Shaan Puri on the emotions that create viral content
John Middlekauff says Twitter has run its course
This week’s Florida photo
This week’s Mix Tape Logo
Putting bricks in the wall:
On Wednesday, I spoke to a group of founders in the Tampa Bay Innovation Center’s B2B Tech Accelerator about writing and building in public. (Slides here, if you’re interested.)
We’re ramping up for Cohort Seven of Write of Passage. I’ll be leading a mentor group again, with a focus on systematizing a feedback process to keep students moving forward to complete the assignments. Write of Passage is a five-week pressure cooker. By facilitating feedback early and often, I hope to help more students complete the coursework.
Double agents in wild world of Apple leaks
What do you get when you pair enormous demand for new information on Apple products with the company’s desire for secrecy?
A yawning gap between demand and supply, which leads to some pretty shady stuff in the online media game.
Now things are downright James Bondian as we learn Apple used a “double agent” from the leakers community to find and expose people trading in stolen information and prototypes:
For more than a year, an active member of a community that traded in illicitly obtained internal Apple documents and devices was also acting as an informant for the company.
On Twitter and in Discord channels for the loosely defined Apple "internal" community that trades leaked information and stolen prototypes, he advertised leaked apps, manuals, and stolen devices for sale. But unbeknownst to other members in the community, he shared with Apple personal information of people who sold stolen iPhone prototypes from China, Apple employees who leaked information online, journalists who had relationships with leakers and sellers, and anything that he thought the company would find interesting and worth investigating.
This story is wild.
In 2018, one reporter for a well-known Apple-focused website, 9 to 5 Mac, paid the double agent for stolen information in order to break news on an upcoming iPad.
I don’t have a grand takeaway here. Just found this fascinating and it’s a reminder that competition leads some in the tech news space to take extraordinary steps for clicks and clout.
P.S.: Despite Apple’s best efforts, we know plenty about the new iPhone 13 lineup already. The phones should be in customers’ hands in about a month.
The Killers’ Brandon Flowers on Writing with persistence and patience
The Killers have a new album I can’t stop listening to: Pressure Machine.
The album is full of melancholy stories from lead singer Brandon Flowers’ experiences growing up in small-town Utah. Some really tough stories. But it all hurts so good—it’s a great album.
(I have thousands of words to say about Pressure Machine, but that’s an essay for another day.)
The album includes a short video featuring Flowers talking about writing the album.
You're just kind of waiting for inspiration. One thing that I've found is that the more that I practice, the more the inspiration comes, I think.
The work isn’t always good. But showing up consistently increases the odds it will be good.
On writing what you know:
You know the old cliche of write what you know about it took me, it took me how long now, 20 years—to write this record. It's not as easy as it sounds.
Sometimes, writing what you know requires distance and patience.
My favorite single from the album—though it’s hard to choose—is called Quiet Town.
The emotions that create viral content
Alex and Books on creating viral content:
I love how Shaan summarized these emotions.
How your writing makes people feel is often more important than the information you convey.
It’s a lesson that has taken me a lifetime to learn, and one I have yet to master.
Twitter has run its course?
John Middlekauff’s “3 and Out” is my favorite NFL podcast. In addition to NFL analysis, Middlekauff often talks about building his content business. Recently he ranted about Twitter:
YouTube is a huge, huge area of growth … the media spends all their time on Twitter. They f****** love Twitter.
… if I post “3 and Out” … on Twitter, I don't get any more listeners than if I don't post it on Twitter. Twitter to me has run its course. No revenue is done there …
So my number one recommendation would be to spend time on Instagram, spend time on YouTube, load all your stuff there.
Middlekauff ignores Twitter’s superpower: meeting people and building relationships, which is extremely valuable. But as a place to do business and generate revenue, he’s right: it’s very tough compared to other platforms.
This week’s Florida photo
More palms. You can’t have too many.
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