Fighting BS & Disinformation Since 2003

So, the CIA says TikTok is Spying On You


I got a couple of real good reader questions last week.

Just a reminder: If you have a question about how to market and promote your stuff, reply to this email. 

I’ll answer your question (if I can) in an upcoming edition of this newsletter.

Question: Should I Build an Audience on TikTok?

I’m going to get shit for this, but … No.

Bill Burns, the director of the CIA, was on the PBS News Hour to talk about the (legit) national security issues surrounding TikTok.

Right now, multiple states are moving to ban the app from the phones of government employees.

So, yeah. 

It’s true; TikTok has good organic reach.

And it’s also true that TikTok is cutting into YouTube’s popularity in a big way.

But is it going to be accessible in America a year from now? Two?

If you think moving off of Twitter is hard, wait until you try to move your TikTok audience somewhere else.

Until these issues are resolved (or TikTok’s parent company sells it to a company beyond the influence of the Chinese government), I’d avoid the thing.

Question: How Should I Start Building an Audience on Mastodon?

You know what’s really interesting? I mean like, from a nerdy marketer perspective?

Mastodon is more like Instagram than it is Twitter.

Twitter was great because you could easily be found and discovered.

But Instagram (and Mastodon) make it virtually impossible to be discovered unless you either:

A. Have money. (This is for bribing  paying larger accounts to feature your account.)

B. Use hashtags appropriately.

On Instagram, the trick is to vary the hashtags and use a combination of some heavily searched ones, some moderately searched ones, and then some lightly searched ones.

I haven’t found, yet, someone monitoring the search volume of the hashtags on Mastodon’s numerous instances, but I bet you that’s something that will exist in the not-too-distant future.

For now, I’d pay a good deal of attention to what hashtags are being used on Mastodon’s most prominent instances (Mastodon.Social for example) and use them heavily.


Don’t be a spammer. You know? If you’re going to use them, use them if you have something that would be worth someone’s time that was searching with that hashtag.

Productivity & Privacy

Thursday morning on Stupid Sexy Privacy, we have our first of a two-parter on doing a digital detox. 

One of the things we recommend is putting your smartphone into Greyscale. Here are the steps on how to do that for both Android and Apple devices from The Washington Post.

Alright. That’s all I got. If you have a question about how to promote something you’re working on, reply to this email. 

I’ll answer your question in an upcoming edition of this here newsletter. 🙂


P.S. We’re doing a lot of behind-the-scenes work over at WAYWO.TV. By the time you read this, there will be two more wonderful episodes for you to enjoy.

I’m also recording two more this week: One with John from my favorite comics podcast, Wordballoon, and another with the author Cory Doctrow. 

Cory is super smart, so I’ll do my best to keep up with him in what’s sure to be a real interesting interview.

Especially for those of you listening to the privacy mini-series that’s running between episodes of WAYWO.

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