WTF #8

Remix don't regurgitate.

❓ WTF No Code

SOMETHING WORTH YOUR TIME

I found Kirby Fergusson’s Everything Is A Remix video series nearly a decade ago. It stood out in a crowd of amateurish videos produced by independent creators at a time where people didn’t really think to mimic the threadboi bullshit they see en masse and on line. At every turn. Made by people with no overt shame or any shreds of humility.

Pretty ironic considering that there are clearcut templates or playbooks you can use to produce content “that works” depending on the channel you operate in. TikTok playbooks can help get you noticed so long as you rip the right audio. The niches within niches of Twitter are dangerous while Instagram’s are shallow.

There’s not a whole lot of original content out there and that stretches from the freelancer seeking their next gig (👋– hi! Why not say hi back and book some time to chat!) or an established recording artist lifting a beat without paying credit where credit is due.

The point is– Fergusson’s video series, now complete, is worth your time. He’s revised and remixed his own work enough so you’re getting a distilled and generally calculated message out of it all.

That message?

There is no such thing as a new idea. It is impossible. We simply take a lot of old ideas and put them into a sort of mental kaleidoscope. We give them a turn and they make new and curious combinations. We keep on turning and making new combinations indefinitely; but they are the same old pieces of colored glass that have been in use through all the ages.

Mark Twain

I never thought I’d be quoting Twain in a technology newsletter.

This is particularly true in the world of no code, where many of the tools, techniques and tactics are built on existing concepts, ideas, or even vibes. We’re out here reaping the rewards of an abstraction of what was once handcrafted, pure C-O-D-E code.

That, my friend, is a remix.

The communal feeling that leaves you with the warm and fuzzies after you make use of that Webflow clonable in your latest project.

That’s a remix.

That X?

Remix.

BAD REMIX

If there’s a space to embrace the art of remixing others’ content, it’s the no code space, at least in my opinion. Innate to the whole ecosystem is this idea of comparison – “Can this be done remixed in code?”, “What tool should I do remix this with? Zapier? Make? n8n?”, “Can I recreate remix this Fortune100 company’s website in Webflow just for the hell of it??”.

Let’s get one thing clear. I’m not out here advocating for you to rip off Linear like all the wannabe techboi threadbros who mispronounce the word niche while they practice make believe keynotes speeches in the mirror.

When you borrow something remember to credit and even celebrate those who you borrow from. If you don’t know how to go about doing that, take a page out of Aron Korenblit’s and Webflow’s book and roll some literal credits or something.

That was a remix ☝️

All of this is laid out here for you to contrast things with what come next. The thing that has me on this kick is pretty much one of the more egregious things you can find online today, especially Twitter. Or in a LinkedIn carousel of Twitter screenshots. Or in a Instagram post of a TikTok. You get the point.

It’s laziness.

Here’s a clear-cut struggle with finding original ideas.

Here’s a shocking attempt to lazily lift a consumerist tactic originally created to boost retail sales.

Sidebar: There’s a great episode of Planet Money about how we have holidays for some of the most outrageous causes, products, or reasons thanks to the holiday industrial complex.

And, as you might suspect, this is 100% US-centric and there’s a chance your country is trying to mimic what America has done.

When there’s a day for everything and everyone, everyday is for nothing and no one.

Finally, here is someone else calling it as they see it.

Click through the RTs and replies for that 👆️ tweet. So worth it.

If you don’t really care about creating original content then this next bit isn’t for you. But I’ll plead with you to read the next few points since you probably already know this to be true:

  • creating your own content is time-consuming

  • creating your own content requires specific skills and tools

  • creating your own content doesn’t mean that content gets results

Whether you’re producing videos for a Youtube series or getting meticulous with your subjects in a photo shoot, it’s yours and it’s original. Self-produced content is also the most effective way of capturing your authentic voice and point of view and if you keep at it long enough, you’ll develop a habit and strong understanding of what it takes to create. Plus, you’re guaranteed to stay out of legal or ethical hot water.

All of this bends the long arc of your personal development and overall business toward success.

Be original and be inspired.

Don’t be lazy and copy other people.

GO DEEPER

How do you combat the trend of stealing people’s content? How do you avoid putting in all the effort to create your own? There’s no sure bet in the journey to produce valuable content but there are some tips and tricks I’ve uncovered along the way, all thanks to no code tools like Airtable and Make.

  1. Make It Easy to Capture and Organize Your Source Material

  2. Know When to Supplement and Augment What You’ve Captured

  3. Push for Visually Captivating Content If It Makes Sense

  4. Repurpose and Recycle Responsibly

  5. Understand Your Performance Metrics in the Right Context

👉️ WTF #6 gets into this with some examples. Check it out.

🆗 SIMPLE $%!#

My latest project update or feature release. That's it. That's the $%!#.

THE NEED

A client I’m working with is interested in capturing the content they publish across social media so that it is stored in a cohesive archive and accessible to review and report on.

THE STACK

THE RESULT

A basic automation that does a daily scan for the last 20 items published across to each of the social networks involved. That scan pulls in any new content along with post performance stats. If that scan for 20 pulls in a post we’ve already captured, it refreshes those performance stats thanks to the upsert function..

THE EXTENDED VERSION

Need a transcription for the content you’ve already published? Enter OpenAI’s Whisper API endpoint.

Want to understand how well one of your campaigns did without lifting a finger? You need a summary report and digest.

We’ll also soon be shifting gears and this backfill automation will be accompanied by another automation focused on pulling in published content in (relative) realtime.

🌶 Spicy Takes

This gets your attention today but won't mean much in a few months.
🌶🌶🌶🌶
(out of 5 🌶)

Shots fired Stanley, shots fired.

I can’t say I completely disagree, but what I can say is I’ve held two jobs early on in my career and they were both 💯 a lot cultier than Webflow.

What Stanley’s seeing is a community… right?

What vibe are you getting from Webflow?

Stanley might be onto something but he might also be completely wrong. What say you?

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