It was time we made some changes around here
SH!TPOST is now called Posting Through It. It has moved from Substack to Ghost. This post explains.
Well, would you look at that! This newsletter and pocast has moved to Ghost! You may have noticed that last dispatch came from a new email address and looked a little different.
If you were a free subscriber to SH!TPOST, I have already added your email to the new distribution list. If you were a paid supporter, that information has transferred over, too. If you'd like to interact here (including commenting on posts) you can sign into Ghost using the same email address you registered with on Substack. You shouldn't notice much change, if any at all, and can keep counting on the content each Monday. (If anything, you may want to make sure your spam filter isn't rejecting messages from the new email address.)
Now, some news:
SH!TPOST is now called "Posting Through It with Jared Holt"
I started my podcast in 2018 after bombing media interviews for months on end. At that time, my work was finally starting to get noticed by serious people in political media and I was being asked to appear on an array of programs to talk about it. I whiffed many of these opportunities, stumbling over my words and struggling to communicate clearly. To practice talking about my work, I bought a cheap microphone and gave podcasting a try. After all, I had been told that nothing forces one to improve their speech more than having to edit their own recorded voice, "ums" and all.
I chose to call the project "SH!TPOST" because that's kind of what I felt like I was doing with it at the time. I never expected anyone would really listen to it, let alone the ten thousand or so listeners who download each episode now. Its early format was messy, the jokes were mildly cringe-inducing, and the audio quality was not great. Today, the show is better produced and its tone has matured. It has outgrown its namesake and I fear the old title may have only hindered its ability to expand.
SH!TPOST had practical issues as a title, too. For one, the exclamation point that made it platform-friendly also made it hard to find. Booking exciting and high-profile guests was unnecessarily more difficult with the swear word in the name. And when I pictured a normal, nice person coming across the show for the first time it was far too easy to imagine situations where the branding might have scared them off.
So, why is it called "Posting Through It" now? I decided to rebrand SH!TPOST as Posting Through It because it is a more platform-friendly name that still remains true to the general spirit of the show. American life exists today in a disorienting decay, exacerbated evermore by the internet's death-grip on our modern lives and the perverse incentives it introduces into the human condition. And folks, what am I doing here but posting through it?
And, crucially, I could not find another podcast or newsletter online that had taken this name yet. There are too many podcasts in this world and I will admit that it was major contributing factor.
The RSS feed will change, since I will need to transfer episode hosting to another service. It should update in all major podcast apps automatically but if you use the RSS feed to follow this show, you may need to put in the new link manually. I'll send that around when I have it.
SH!TPOST, Substack, and why I moved
I don't care to add to the dull buzz of "Substack drama" in the media world, but I do want to explain the thinking behind my move to Ghost in case any readers or listeners may be wondering. I'll try to keep it short.
TL;DR: My message to Substack is identical to Luke O'Neil's: "You’re fucking up."
Substack co-founder Hamish McKenzie invited me to join his then up-and-coming platform in 2019. I agreed, and my show was among the first to showcase Substack's podcast-hosting abilities. Sending out newsletters and episodes from the same place was practically a no-brainer and it made my life easier. Hamish and his company were nothing but kind and supportive toward me. But after years appreciating the platform for its simplicity, I found myself wondering whether I should leave it. After I saw what Substack did to my beloved editor Sam Thielman, I started the transition to Ghost.
Since its launch, Substack has faced waves of criticism for its decisions to host and monetize an array of sad hatemongers and extremist figures. When forced to answer, it has appealed to the merits of free speech and open debate. Substack likes to think of itself as a content-neutral service. (It's not, really. Few platforms truly are.)
My disdain for American media's unending moral panic over the sacred right to be an asshole in the Land of the Free is palpable, so I was not impressed by Substack's posturing. Every new platform is eventually made to face questions about content moderation at the crossroads, and when it was Substack's turn at the junction it chose the path of highest margins. Tempting as it may be for a young company trying to keep the lights on, that was a mistake.
I don't believe Hamish or his colleagues at Substack hold any hate in their hearts, but I do think they're soiling a great product with a "see no evil" approach to what some people are using it for. It sucked watching a 10% slice of my supporters' generosity help subsidize the company's Free Speech Warrior cosplay while I waited for change that never came.
A lot of writers depend on Substack these days, and I sincerely hope the company will reconsider its course trajectory before the content boomerang comes back to smack it across the face. I'll still support the writers I enjoy who use the platform, but for now my own work will live here.
Goodbye, Substack. Hello, Ghost.
I hope you'll sign up for a free or paid subscription to "Posting Through It." Your support makes the project possible.