Trust Me, I’m Lying by Ryan Holiday

The Big Idea: you can’t trust the media.

  • Clicks equal revenue. Therefore, online news sites care more about clicks than truth.
  • Since all news is online now, established media has to compete for clicks with millions of blogs, twitter accounts, and satirical news sites.
  • The result of this competition is that the media we consume is flooded with sensational headlines, click-bait, rumors, and unsupported fake news.
  • Most blogs serve no real purpose in our lives than to distract.
  • Read books instead of following blogs.
  • Subscription-based news sites are more trustworthy than free sites because they are not solely dependent on clicks and ad revenue.
  • If you must get coverage for your company or organization, the basic formula is simple: manufacture an effective story, submit it to a small news site, *quickly* trade it up the chain to a larger news site, and repeat until you are mentioned in The New York Times.
  • Afterwards, you can forever say “as seen in The New York Times.”
  • Other tactics: press releases, Wikipedia, leaked stories, HARO, effective headlines.
  • Ryan Holiday knows this topic first-hand because he was one of the pioneers of media manipulation.

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