Holiday, Ryan. Trust Me, I’m Lying. 2012

Trust Me, I’m Lying: Confessions of Media Manipulator
Trust Me Im Lying Ryan Holiday

  1. Introduction
  2. Book 1
    1. Feeding The Monster
    2. How Blogs Work
      1. Blogs Make The News
        1. Blogs matter because they drive the news, so lets manipulate them.
        2. So how do blogs work? Blog defined: any medium fighting for your attention. Here, Gawker, Business Insider, Politico, Buzzfeed, Huffington Post, Drudge Report are cited because media elites read them (Target Audience). Media elite equal Arianna Huffington and more.
        3. Case study: politico following Paulenty. Why? Because he is running for candidacy and politico knows election season equals high ratings with more views.
        4. Objective: when we understand the logic that drives the business choices then the choices become predictable; and what is predictable can be anticipated then redirected then accelerated or controlled, however you choose.
      2. How To Turn Nothing Into Something In Three Way-Too-Easy Steps
        1. Who are we writing for? For the reporters!
        2. The method: tracing up the chainà youtube video showing off causeàwrite article for small blogàsend email from fake address with links to a reporter at CBS in LA (example)àreporter does TV pieceàsimultaneously activity on reddit is necessary (or other social media group) to build up connections on the siteàthen post TV piece on Reddit (or other social media group)à conclusion, front page resultà now you are on the radar for other bigger sites because they get post ideas from Reddit (and Quora)
        3. Sub issue: where do bloggers go for content? Here, twitter, facebook, google; search comment section, press release, and rival blogs.
          1. Level 1: the entry point: small blgos and hyperlocal webistes cover your neighborhood. Trust is very high! Cash strapped and traffic hungry. They are on the look out for stories. Site bust be small and understaffed.
          2. Level 2: the legacy media: mix online and offline media. Blogs of newspapers and local television stations (Target Audience) because share same URL and get aggregated in Google news. Example, wall street Journal, Newsweek, CBS all have sister cites like,,, etc. you must create chatter or strong story angle to hook this kind of sucker.
          3. Level 3: national: grunt work equals register story at local and midlevel outlets first. National press equals less direct pushing and more massaging. Because low and mid blogs want thousands of views they will register your story on news site aggregatorsàmass media reporters monitor aggregates for story ideas and often cover what is trending there.
          4. Rationale. Because on lower levels of meida channels is proof the story can deliver even better results from a national platform. Make sure reporters notice the story’s gaining tractionàobserve outlet you want your story/ article to be on for patterns. Meaning, what mid level platforms (sites) are being published there.
          5. Objective: create illusion/ perception that the meme already exists and all the reporter is doing is popularizing it.
      3. The Blog Con: How Publishers Make Money Online
        1. See tactics 1-9 below.
      4. Tactic #1: Bloggers Are Poor; Help Pay Their Bills
        1. How does a blogger get paid from his publishing medium? Platforms pay bloggers based on traffic generated from their posts. Example, twitter, instagram, pay influencers for personal shoutouts.  Other models: per-post and per-video basis. Action: give products away for free. Building connections by any means necessary. Pay-per view monetizing model.
      5. Tactic #2: Tell Them What They Want To Hear
        1. How? You must use an email that they can respond and check because if they cant contact you, you don’t exist (bloggers rule).
        2. Bloggers love press releases because material already written, angle laid out, subject is already newsworthy, and comes from an official newswire. Resource: check google search “said in press release”, “announced today”, check HARS (Help A Reporter Out) its were journalists go to research leads.
      6. Tactic #3: Give Them What Spreads, Not What’s Good
        1. Show people anything that evokes extreme emotions of hate, excitement, happiness, but not sadness. “the most powerful predictor of viralityis how much anger an article evokes.” You must frame it right!
      7. Tactic # 4: Help Them Trick Their Readers
        1. Load your headlines. Be ambiguous so viewers can make their own conclusions. Let them be opinioned. Objective: we want click-throughs.
      8. Tactic #5: Sell Them Something They Can Sell (Exploit The One-Off Problem)
        1. First page: eye catchy and quickly digestible (headline that screams excitement) second page: heart of paper. Lavish use of pics. Third page: local imposters/ fraudsters/ faked interviews. Fourth page: ads/ fillers
      9. Tactic #6: Make It All About The Headline
        1. See yahoo homepage for examples. Your headline is the heart of the article. Its clever, catchy, get the click- through by any means necessary. Google search “most successful headlines” and variations.
      10. Tactic #7: Kill ‘Em With Pageview Kindness
        1. Search top 10 “most read” or “most popular”. Copy successful templates! Resrouces: stumbleupon and outbrain for content.
      11. Tactic #8: Use The Technology Against Itself
        1. See “the huffington post complete guide to blogging” structure of blog. Keep it short, pithy, and humorous. 500-700 word limit=done.
      12. Tactic #9: Just Make Stuff Up (Everyone Else Is Doing It)
        1. Look at prior successful works and re-work it=done!
  3. Book 2
    1. The Monster Attacks
    2. What Blogs Mean
      1. Irin Carmon, The Daily Show, And Me: The Perfect Storm Of How Toxic
      2. Blogging Can Be
      3. There Are Others: The Manipulator Hall Of Fame
      4. Cute But Evil: Online Entertainment Tactics That Drug You And Me
      5. The Link Economy: The Leveraged Illusion Of Sourcing
      6. Extortion Via The Web: Facing The Online Shakedown
      7. The Iterative Hustle: Online Journalism’s Bogus Philosophy
      8. The Myth Of Corrections
      9. Cheering On Our Own Deception
      10. The Dark Side Of Snark: When Internet Humor Attacks
      11. The 21st-Century Degradation Ceremony: Blogs As Machines Of Hatred And Punishment
      12. Welcome To Unreality
      13. How To Read A Blog: An Update On Account Of All The Lies
  4. Conclusion: So…Where To From Here?
  5. Acknowledgments
  6. Notes
  7. Works Cited
  8. Further Reading
  9. Index