Be The Goalposts

Every now and then, I tweet something that seems to really resonate with a wider audience and it seems a shame that those words soon evaporate into the ether.

So, to continue in the spirit of making them a more permanent resource, here are a tiny fraction of my thoughts on a topic which I posted yesterday as a Twitter thread:

I’m hearing sounds of disgruntlement from creators that Instagram are changing the goalposts yet again. Apparently, videos are now going to be heavily prioritised over stills.

So, if that’s you, here are some tips on how you can take immediate control:

When you use the big social platforms to communicate with the people who love hearing about you and your work, the conversation is never going to be on your terms.

The goalposts will always shift because, despite appearances, the platform is not about you.

Remember, you are not the customer here. You are the commodity.

As Jaron Lanier said in his TED Talk called How we need to remake the internet

“We cannot have a society in which, if two people wish to communicate, the only way that can happen is if it’s financed by a third person who wishes to manipulate them.”

So what can you do about it right now?

Well, you can take four simple steps by using mechanisms that have been around for a long time and are probably right under your nose already. 

I’ll briefly list them below:


Stop sending people to Insta (or FB or wherever)…send them to your website!

It’s the place you’ve probably already honed and preened for 100s of hours to look/feel the way you want it. Saying ‘find me on Insta’ used to make some sense but now it makes little sense.


Create (or rejuvenate) a newsletter.

In Do Open, David Hieatt says that newsletters are 40x more effective than other platforms — and that was then as opposed to now!

So, put a signup box on your homepage and start laser-focussing on your true fans.


Be the goalposts!

Keep your core communications as independent as possible from the big platforms.

Use Insta/FB/Twitter if:

  • you have the energy
  • you understand what they are
  • you’re happy with what they are
  • you enjoy it

But don’t rely on them!


Recognise who your ‘crowd’ really is — it may not be as large as you think. 

They’ll probably be the people who sign up to your newsletter right way rather than the rest who scroll past your work elsewhere. 

Concentrate on your true crowd. They’ll love you for it. 

That’s it. Those are my immediate tips for things you can do right now (very simplified, of course, but that’s the crux).

You don’t have to go as far as I have by building your own membership/social platform and app (pictured above)…but maybe one day!

Good luck and remember:

Be the goalposts!

Keep on keepin’ on,

Jack Lowe

Creator of The Lifeboat Station Project

Did you know that fewer than 1% of people convert their Likes, Shares and Retweets into financial support for the creators they follow?

I’m asking my online community to buck that trend. If you value my work and would like to contribute to its future, please consider donating here — it’ll make a huge difference and will help with the upkeep of our growing community space.


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  1. My pleasure and thank you, Elsie. I use this site to put down some of my more personal thoughts but if you would like to see where I really tie it all together, head to the living archive of my life’s work — The Lifeboat Station Project — but be prepared to lose a few hours!

  2. Hi Jack,
    Thanks for this – it has given me much to think about. Not sure if you know Brian from Offline/Ffoton but he pointed me towards this and boy, am I glad he did. I was loosing the will to continue with Instagram in any meaningful sense and I’m thinking now I might put it to sleep – it is crazy how many have become so reliant on a platform that uses them rather than serves them. Twitter, on the other hand, is a little more useful. Btw, your work is outstanding.

    1. Thank you, David! I do indeed know Brian — we ‘met’ for the first time on Zoom this week and talked at length about all kinds of things A lovely man. Wishing you fortitude for your social journey, Jack

  3. I so agree with you Jack. I didn’t last long on IG (about 9 months) because I could see how pointless it was (for me). Deleted FB ages ago. Twitter I remain ONLY to ‘see’ what 3 of my writer friends are up to plus do some sightseeing. All that said, I maintain my website and have considered a newsletter as well but am still trying to differentiate between the content on the blog section of my website and the newsletter. You’ve made excellent points here and I hope many creatives read it and take much to heart.

    1. Thank you, Diane — very glad you enjoyed it. Thankfully, many seemed to have soaked up the advice since publishing it in July. Long may it continue!