Trust Me, Im Lying (Trust Me, Book 1)


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Only one is worth trying to sell the bloggers. I will say it again: The most powerful predictor of what spreads online is anger. No marketer is ever going to push something with the stink of reasonableness, complexity, or mixed emotions. Yet information is rarely clearly good or bad. It tends to have elements of both, or none of either. It just is. Hopelessness, despair—these drive us to do nothing.

Pity, empathy—those drive us to do something, like get up from our computers to act. But anger, fear, excitement, or laughter—these drive us to spread. They were very small websites, and the total cost of the ads was only twelve hundred dollars. The important part was that they wrote about it at all. It ended up being seen millions of times, and almost none of those views was on the original sites where we paid for the ads to run. Reality is complicated.

Reality is boring. We are incapable or unwilling to handle its confusion. Nor does it allow for the kind of change that will create the world we wish to live in. It does, however, make it possible for me to do what I do. And people like me will keep doing it as long as that is true. Because nobody will get to your main argument. You might as well not bother…. You set up a mystery—and explain it after the link. Some analysis shows a good question brings twice the response of an emphatic exclamation point. Readers might be better served by posts that inform them about things that really matter.

But, as you saw in the last chapter, stories with useful information are less likely to be shared virally than other types of content. It was not so much his paper that changed everything but his way of selling it: on the street, one copy at a time. You bought and walked. The Sun, with this simple innovation in distribution, invented the news and the newspaper. A thousand imitators followed. I make up the news; blogs make up the headline.

Although it seems easy, headline writing is an incredibly difficult task.

The editor has to reduce an entire story down to just a few units of text—turning a few hundredor thousand-word piece into just a few words, period. Basically, write the headline—or hint at the options—in your e-mail or press release or whatever you give to the blogger and let them steal it. Is this story SEO-winning for in-demand terms?

How can we modify it to include more terms? Can we bring in contributors with their own followers? What CPM will this content earn? How much will this content cost to produce? How long will it take to produce? Must be good. Was there a raging comments section going? Did the story get picked up on Gawker?

It made the Drudge Report? Peter Wiggin creates the online persona of a demagogue named Locke and began to test the waters by posting deliberately inflammatory comments. Why write this way? Over a three-day period, political posts by amateurs received 6, comments, or an average of just 43 comments per article meaning that many got zero. Over that same period, Huffington Post published paid political articles bought from other sites, written by staff writers, or other copyrighted content that accumulated more than , comments combined. That amounts to more than per article, or twenty times what the unpaid bloggers were able to accomplish.

In a sane system, a political article that generated thousands of comments would be an indicator that something went wrong. It means the conversation descended into an unproductive debate about abortion or immigration, or devolved into mere complaining. But in the broken world of the web, it is the mark of a professional. They betray the ethical journalists and earnest readers. As far as bloggers and publishers looking to get rich or manipulators eager to influence the news are concerned, the system is just fine. It takes the audience at their worst and makes them worse.

Well, they do.

Ryan Holiday Trust Me I'm Lying - Business Insider

Scrolling is a pain, as is feeling like an article will never end. This gives writers around eight hundred words to make their point—a rather tight window. Which, while translating into three posts a day, means the average post was just words long. Two hundred, max. The world is far too messy, too nuanced and complicated, and frankly far less exciting for that to be the case.

Only a fool addicted to his laptop would fail to see that the material demanded by the constraints of their medium and the one reality gives them rarely match. On the other hand, I quite like these fools. To get attention we had to cut it up into itty-bitty bites and spoon-feed it to readers and bloggers like babies. Shit becomes sugar. He was rewarded soon after with a new gig at…Business Insider! But it was too late. The facts had been established.

Trust Me, I'm Lying

To make matters worse, Carmon replied to my last e-mail with a question about another trumpedup story she planned to write about the company. And that they have a long history of discriminating against and firing women? The letter was remarkable in its clarity and understanding of what the blogger was doing. Or even saw the update? The post making the accusation did , views. Within hours it had gone from one blog to dozens of blogs to cable news websites, and then to the newspapers and back again. The man who posted that video was the late Andrew Brietbart. He helped build the dominant conservative and liberal blogs.

Not when the length of the video was calibrated to be precisely as long as average viewers are statistically most likely to watch. His job: to build a team to monitor every pageview and metric the sites get in order to shape the content around that information. He sat down next to me, ostensibly to watch and listen to the talk. Not once did he look up from his laptop. He tapped away the entire time, first on Twitter, then on Facebook, then moderating comments on his blog, and on and on, completely oblivious to the world.

It struck me then that whatever I decided to do with the rest of my life, I did not want to end up like him. In the world of the web, why should not paying attention preclude you from getting your say? In short, he takes his secondary contact with the world of political reality, his reading and listening and thinking, as a vicarious performance…. He is concerned. He is informed. And he has all sorts of ideas as to what should be done.

But, after he has gotten through his dinner and after he has listened to his favored radio programs and after he has read his second newspaper of the day, it is really time for bed. Hopefully CNN does not do that. Thankfully, it did not make it to air on CNN, but it could have had I not stepped in.

If the outlet is legitimate, the stories it breaks are. If the story is legitimate, the facts inside it are. It can be assumed that if the subject of the story is legitimate, then what people are saying about it probably is too. No, I replied emphatically. The links still point to the same bad story.


  1. Chinas Energy Outlook 2004;
  2. Dynamics of Gas-Surface Interaction: Proceedings of the International School on Material Science and Technology, Erice, Italy, July 1–15, 1981.
  3. From Trent to Vatican II: Historical and Theological Investigations?
  4. A Continuous Time Econometric Model of the United Kingdom with Stochastic Trends.
  5. Trust Me, I'm Lying.
  6. The Ethnography of Empowerment: The Transformative Power of Classroom interaction;

The web gurus try to tell us that this distributed, crowd-sourced version of fact-checking and research is more accurate, because it involves more people. But I side with Descartes and have more faith in a scientific approach, in which every man is responsible for his own work—in which everyone is questioning the work of everyone else, and this motivates them to be extra careful and honest.

One, he said, was a fun spoof of their yogurt, which was designed to improve digestive health and, um, other bodily functions. The other, he said, was a disgusting version of the first video, with all the indelible scatological images implied by such a spoof. He might be more inclined to release the first version, he said, if Danone was willing to pay him a fee each time it was seen.

It was extortion via viral video. In reality, the plane had not only landed safely, but the pilot acted like a gentleman from another generation, offering the passengers his personal telephone number if they had more questions or wanted someone to talk to. He exuded humble and quiet heroism that should have been recognized.

I think about this often. They may have stolen from my friend, but I still shook someone down. Publishers actually believe that their writers need to do every part of the newsmaking process, from discovery to fact-checking to writing and editing in real time. It should be obvious to anyone who thinks about it for two seconds why that is a bad thing—but they buy the lie that iterative journalism improves the news. A whole twenty fucking minutes. The world is forever in your debt.

The iterative journalism reporting model suggests the opposite—the structure, the headline, the links, and the picture slideshows are there, but the facts are suspect. What kind of process is that? One of my favorite all-time blogger corrections stories involves Matt Drudge, the political blogger sainted in the history of blogging for breaking the Monica Lewinsky story. Based on an unnamed source, Drudge accused prominent journalist and Clinton adviser Sidney Blumenthal of a shocking history of spousal abuse—and one covered up by the White House, no less.

Except none of it was true. Turns out there was no evidence that Blumenthal had ever struck his wife, nor was there a White House cover-up.

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Where would you even start? I just had to sit there and watch as people believed something so stupid was true; the writer was wrong to the point of it actually working to their advantage. A friend, a car blogger earnestly passionate about his job, once emailed the writer of a less than reputable car site after they published a rumor that turned out to be false. Blogger: You guys are so funny.

Ryan Holiday. Summary of the Book Ryan Holiday draws from his experiences as a media strategist to explain how the world of internet media is largely shaping all that we see and do. Frequently Bought Together. Growth Hacker Marketing. Add 3 Items to Cart. Rate Product. Have doubts regarding this product? Post your question. Safe and Secure Payments. Easy returns. You might be interested in.

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