Jan 152013

Trust Me, I'm Lying.
Ryan Holiday.
Page: 166 & 167
Iterative journalism, process journalism, beta journalism–whatever name you use, it’s stupid and dangerous. It calls for bloggers to publish first and then verify what they wrote after they’ve posted it.
… iterative journalists throw up their hands, claim to be knowledge-less, and report whatever they’ve heard as news.

How many times have you seen stories reported that only contain what the neighbors know. Within hours the details change but the “news” never stops. New information from new sources allow the story to be updated until the final story bears little resemblance to what was originally “reported.”

Jan 142013

Trust Me, I'm Lying.
Ryan Holiday.
Page: 71

I have long disdained the internet ‘troll’, the guy who intentionally stirs up online discussions just for the fun of it. Yet, from this book, it is obvious that the blog writer must himself be a troll if he desires to be ‘successful’.

For blogs, practical utility is often a liability. It is a traffic killer. So are other potentially positive attributes. It’s hard to get trolls angry enough to comment while being fair or reasonable. Waiting for the whole story to unfold can be a surefire way to eliminate the possibility for follow-up posts. So can pointing out that an issue is frivolous. Being the voice of reason does also.

As the old saying goes, any publicity is good publicity, so it seems on the online world. It does not matter if they are talking about you because they like you or they hate you, as long as they are talking about you.

Jan 132013

Trust Me, I'm Lying.
Ryan Holiday.
Page: 64

Ever notice the many pics on Facebook that ask you to “Share” or “Like” them are all heart-tuggers or fear-inducers? Of course, if they weren’t effective you would probably would never have seen it since one of your friends usually had to share it first.

The media is in the evil position of needing to go negative and play tricks with your psyche in order to drive you to share their materials online. For instance, in studies where subjects are shown negative video footage (war, and airplane crash, an execution, a natural disaster), they become more aroused, can better recall what happened, pay more attention, and engage more cognitive resources to consume the media than nonnegative footage. That’s the kind of stuff that will make you hit “share this.” They push your buttons so you’ll pres theirs.

Things must be negative but not too negative. 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 drive us to do something that makes us feel as if we are doing something, when in reality we are only contributing to what is probably a superficial and utterly meaningless conversation.

Whether it is Gawker or the Drudge Report, they cannot be successful unless they toy with our emotions. The sad thing is that they are successful, they raise our emotional state but rarely do they get us to action beyond a comment or a button press.

Jan 112013

Trust Me, I'm Lying.
Ryan Holiday.
Page: 59

Study the top stories at Digg or MSN.com and you’ll notice a pattern: the top stories all polarize people. If you make it threaten people’s 3 Bs — behavior, belief, or belongings — you get a huge virus-like dispersion.

–Tim Ferriss, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author

If people share your blog post with their friends across social media platforms then you are golden. If they just read it and maybe even make a short comment, you may as well not have written it.

Bloggers are paid by advertising placed on their site. Traffic must be generated and the best, and really only, way to get that traffic is to have others advertise for you by talking about your post. A blogger does not care if you love the post or hate it, as long as he can get you to tell your friends about it.

Jan 102013

Trust Me, I'm Lying.
Ryan Holiday.
Page: 14
One early media critic put it this way: We’re a country governed by public opinion, and public opinion is largely governed by the press, so isn’t it critical to understand what governs the press? What rules over the media, he concluded, rules over the country.

Controlling the conversation means controlling public opinion. Whether the discussion is about abortion, gun control, or any divisive issue, each side wants to be the positive side. The ‘pro-life’ side loses because they are labeled ‘anti-abortion’ by journalists. The anti-2nd Amendment group wins because they want ‘reasonable gun control’ and are not called ‘anti-gun rights’ in the media.