Trust Me, I'm Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator

Trust Me, I'm Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator

4.7 14
by Ryan Holiday
     
 

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You’ve seen it all before. A malicious online rumor costs a company millions. A political sideshow derails the national news cycle and destroys a candidate. Some product or celebrity zooms from total obscurity to viral sensation. What you don’t know is that someone is responsible for all this. Usually, someone like me.

I’m a media manipulator.

Overview

You’ve seen it all before. A malicious online rumor costs a company millions. A political sideshow derails the national news cycle and destroys a candidate. Some product or celebrity zooms from total obscurity to viral sensation. What you don’t know is that someone is responsible for all this. Usually, someone like me.

I’m a media manipulator. In a world where blogs control and distort the news, my job is to control blogs—as much as any one person can.

 

In today’s culture…
1) Blogs like Gawker, Buzzfeed and the Huffington Post drive the media agenda.
2) Bloggers are slaves to money, technology, and deadlines.
3) Manipulators wield these levers to shape everything you read, see and watch—online and off.

Why am I giving away these secrets?  Because I'm tired of a world where blogs take indirect bribes, marketers help write the news, reckless journalists spread lies, and no one is accountable for any of it. I'm pulling back the curtain because I don't want anyone else to get blindsided.

I’m going to explain exactly how the media really works. What you choose to do with this information is up to you.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this revealing volume, Holiday describes the marketing strategies he's learned, developed, and put into practice through his work with such infamous entities as American Apparel (under whose auspices he serves as director of marketing) and the notoriously irreverent Internet-to-print phenom Tucker Max. A self-described "media manipulator," Holiday candidly states that his "job is to lie to the media so they can lie to you." According to him, it's all part of the game. Though he admits to being "no media scholar," Holiday effectively maps the new media landscape, from "small blogs and hyperlocal websites," to "a mix of online and offline sources" and the national press. But his main market is blogs, and given the increasingly interconnected nature of the Digital Age and the rise of blogs as veritable news outlets, his focus is prescient and his schemes compelling. From fabricating stories and marketing them "until the unreal becomes real," to defacing his own billboards to build street-level buzz, Holiday's tactics may not represent the apogee of ethical marketing, but they work—folks love to hate American Apparel's lewd ads, and the vitriolic concoction that Holiday brewed around Tucker Max took his book, I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell, to #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. Media students and bloggers would do well to heed Holiday's informative, timely, and provocative advice. (July)
Kirkus Reviews
In his first book, media consultant and American Apparel marketing director Holiday takes on the blogosphere, finding its content to be little more than manufactured and manipulated "conflict, controversy, and crap." "Did Saddam Hussein write book reviews for Kirkus?" Of course he did not, but such a headline, writes the author, would be typical for a "blog," by which he means all online publishing including Twitter, major and obscure websites, Web videos, group blogs with hundreds of writers and whatever else is out there. All blogs face the same pressures and same weaknesses. In a medium of infinite space and endless deadlines, they must publish and publish often--a professional blogger must write several times per day in order to make any money at all. All of this is driven by the need for page views, the number of times someone hits on a website. Page views determine advertiser dollars, which determine the reality presented by blogs. In the search for "traffic by any means," journalistic standards and responsibility often go out the window, replaced by a new strategy: Publish first, and then, perhaps, verify. Headlines must instantly capture the audience's attention, and adding a question mark allows plausible deniability. Truth gives way to sensationalism and innuendo, and blog-fed information devolves into "sensationalism, extremism, sex, scandal, hatred." But if blogs manipulate, they can also be manipulated. Plant a story--true or not--in a small blog, and it could be picked up by a larger blog, then by a large media outlet. Holiday has done this countless times to create a buzz about authors, musicians, clothing apparel, etc. Ultimately, this practice is harmful. Reputations can be destroyed in a few minutes, but more broadly, blogs create a "constructed reality," a world that does not really exist but yet seems true. Holiday has written more than a dyspeptic diatribe, as his precise prose and reference to the scholarship of others add weight to his claims. A sharp and disturbing look into the world of online reality.
Tim Ferriss
"Ryan Holiday is part Machiavelli, part Ogilvy, and all results...this whiz kid is the secret weapon you've never heard of."
From the Publisher
"Holiday is part Machiavelli, part Ogilvy, and all results...this whiz kid is the secret weapon you've never heard of."
--Tim Ferriss, author of The 4-Hour Workweek

"Essential reading."
--Andrew Keen

"Ryan Holiday's brilliant expose of the unreality of the Internet should be required reading for every thinker in America."
-- Edward Jay Epstein, author of The Big Picture

"The strategies Ryan created to exploit blogs drove sales of millions of my books and made me an internationally known name."
--Tucker Max

"Behind my reputation as marketing genius there is Ryan Holiday, whom I consult often and has done more for my business than just about anyone."
--Dov Charney, CEO and founder, American Apparel

"Holiday has written more than a dyspeptic diatribe, as his precise prose and reference to the scholarship of others add weight to his claims. A sharp and disturbing look into the world of online reality."
--Kirkus Reviews

"His focus is prescient and his schemes compelling. Media students and bloggers would do well to heed Holiday's informative, timely, and provocative advice."
--Publishers Weekly

"While the observation that the Internet favors speed over accuracy is hardly new, Holiday lays out how easily it is to twist it toward any end... Trust Me, I'm Lying provides valuable food for thought regarding how we receive -- and perceive -- information."
--New York Post

"This is an astonishing book. Holiday has worked for several years as a self-proclaimed media manipulator, running campaigns for companies such as American Apparel. He is now intent on revealing the tricks that his kind use to influence us. Many of these stories are chilling."
--Gillian Tett, Financial Times

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781591845539
Publisher:
Portfolio Hardcover
Publication date:
07/19/2012
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
“Holiday is part Machiavelli, part Ogilvy, and all results…this whiz kid is the secret weapon you’ve never heard of.”
—Tim Ferriss, author of The 4-Hour Workweek

“Essential reading.”
—Andrew Keen

“Ryan Holiday's brilliant exposé of the unreality of the Internet should be required reading for every thinker in America.”
— Edward Jay Epstein, author of The Big Picture

“The strategies Ryan created to exploit blogs drove sales of millions of my books and made me an internationally known name.”
—Tucker Max

“Behind my reputation as marketing genius there is Ryan Holiday, whom I consult often and has done more for my business than just about anyone.”
—Dov Charney, CEO and founder, American Apparel

“Holiday has written more than a dyspeptic diatribe, as his precise prose and reference to the scholarship of others add weight to his claims. A sharp and disturbing look into the world of online reality.”
Kirkus Reviews

“His focus is prescient and his schemes compelling. Media students and bloggers would do well to heed Holiday’s informative, timely, and provocative advice.”
Publishers Weekly

“While the observation that the Internet favors speed over accuracy is hardly new, Holiday lays out how easily it is to twist it toward any end… Trust Me, I’m Lying provides valuable food for thought regarding how we receive — and perceive — information.”
New York Post

“This is an astonishing book. Holiday has worked for several years as a self-proclaimed media manipulator, running campaigns for companies such as American Apparel. He is now intent on revealing the tricks that his kind use to influence us. Many of these stories are chilling.”
—Gillian Tett, Financial Times

Meet the Author

Ryan Holiday is a media strategist for notorious clients such as Tucker Max and Dov Charney. After dropping out of college at 19 to apprentice under Robert Greene, author of The 48 Laws of Power, he went on to advise many bestselling authors and multiplatinum musicians. He is currently the director of marketing at American Apparel, where his work is internationally known. His campaigns have been used as case studies by Twitter, YouTube, and Google and written about in AdAge, the New York Times, Gawker and Fast Company. He currently lives in New Orleans and writes at RyanHoliday.net.

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Trust Me, I'm Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
GeorgeMihaly More than 1 year ago
Reading this book really opened up my eyes to the way that content I have for a long time suspected fictitious is generated and why. Learning about the way that the system of content creation operates feels a bit disconcerting, but also incredibly empowering (not in the sense of being someone who now has the ability to generate deceptive content, but more so in being able to more easily identify it and decide whether or not I want to support it in any way). I'd recommend this book become required reading for students attending any sort of formal institution (high school, college, technical school...) and anyone wanting to get a an understanding on the operation and agendas of traditionally trusted media sources. This book is the guide to how internet media works, who it serves, and who it takes advantage of.
Pookielani More than 1 year ago
I think everyone should read this before they vote!
shellyschultz More than 1 year ago
well written tale of the truths and non truths flying around the internet and news broadcasts today. Don't believe 95% of what you see and hear.....welcome to the world as we know it...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
...maybe the authors point is that we cant really know.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I consider myself one of the few initiated that has the ability to see through the manipulation and predictive programming that is Media in all forms today. I have long pointed out to anyone who would listen the methods used to manipulate the masses towards predetermined conclusions to forward an agenda constructed by those that rule our lives be it: Government, Corporations, Religion. I have to say that after reading Mr. Holiday’s book I was re-awakened to take a harder look at sources of information. He illustrates how in today’s electronic media “page clicks” rule over creditable information. He shows multitudes of examples of how someone, anyone can place a story on a blog based completely on untruths, have it linked to several other blogs and eventually a story that contains no facts makes it to the evening news, as real news. The mainstream media outlets make no apologies for this, they are hungry for any “breaking news”…the more sensational the better. Better for their bottom line. I have studied a vast amount of history and have long understood how mainstream media has manipulated mass opinion by inaccurate reporting which decades later the true facts of events come to the surface, long after the consequences have already been suffered. Mr. Holiday uses the history of media to put it in prospective. I would highly recommend 'Trust Me, I’m Lying' to anyone, if you are just awakening to how the world work or have experience with how our thoughts are controlled.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
He padded in and placed some catnip in its pile."hey there dellilah...." he hummed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thank u.
Benas1 More than 1 year ago
This book is insane...this dude hacks!