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Trust Me, I'm Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator by [Holiday, Ryan]
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Trust Me, I'm Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews

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"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

About the Author

Ryan Holiday is a media strategist for notorious clients such as Tucker Max and Dov Charney. After dropping out of college at nineteen 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.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3090 KB
  • Print Length: 270 pages
  • Publisher: Portfolio (19 July 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0074VTHH0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #44,738 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The author is the twenty-something former Director of Communications for American Apparel. He identifies the problems with the modern mediaverse which allow him to gain free mass market coverage for his clients' consumer products. This boils down to one thing: complete a stunt (disappointingly only three or four real life examples are given in the entire book). Get a low-level local blogger to cover it, by sending him the story, complete with story angle and pictures, from a fake e-mail address. That blogger is read by medium sized bloggers and aggregators, who may pick it up. They're read by real journalists who will steal the story, or make it real by requesting an interview. The blogging universe described here is entirely American. Any UK-based readers will get better media analysis from Private Eye, or by reading 'Flat Earth News', a superior expose of how the media really works. The rest of the book rehearses tired observations about journalists being lazy, cowardly, overworked and underpaid, and of fact-checking which has descended to ensuring that someone else has said it already. The book is sloppily copy-edited. Don't buy. You've had the digested read.
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By Mark Pack TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 17 Aug. 2014
Format: Hardcover
Like Damian McBride, Ryan Holiday is a repentant spinner. Whilst McBride's beat was British politics, Holiday's is American culture, including time as Director of Marketing for the controversial clothing firm American Apparel.

As with Damian McBride's book Power Trip: A Decade of Policy, Plots and Spin, you certainly shouldn't take as an instruction manual Holiday's accounts of how he regularly manipulated, bamboozled and fooled bloggers and the media into running false, exaggerated and self-serving stories. But as with McBride too, along the way there is also a canny account of how the media works, its strengths and weaknesses.

Trust Me, I'm Lying contains much valuable insight into how what we hear, see and read is chosen and composed, especially the way stories can be planted on small blogs with low editorial standards which then bubble up through the ranks, gaining audience and apparent credibility along the way. Holiday is good too on how the underlying economics of American blogging works against good quality coverage and on the weaknesses of Wikipedia.

Some of Holiday's tactics have unsurprisingly attracted much controversy since he has confessed his sins - such as the faking of documents to "leak" under false names to bloggers in order to get them speculating about a product or company.

But don't let your eye slip uncritically over his wider comments about the structure of the media. Although his views on topics such as the default tone of snark in much blogging have some merit, he often greatly exaggerates how awful things are. Nothing is occasionally bad in his book - it's permanently awful.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Despite some intriguing reviews which led me to pick up this book, once I opened it I really thought that I had made a mistake. I hadn’t come across the author before but I wasn’t enamoured of the dubious techniques referenced (despite the fact that the author said that he had effectively repented from the use of such methods). There was also an arrogant feel to it all which did rankle.

However as I read on it became clear that whatever baggage about the author anyone might bring to the text, and regardless of how the tone of the book made me feel about him, Ryan Holliday actually had a great deal to say that resonated and that should worry us all about the changing consumption and creation of news.

We in the UK never really had the US culture where papers employed cadres of “fact checkers”. So the book’s mainly US depiction of the huge leap from that to a frequent reliance on often unchecked, even speculative, blog content is in much starker contrast to the situation in the UK. Here it could be said that there have been one or two traditional journalists happily creating such copy long before blogs or social media.
This isn’t just a book long whinge about the state of things. There are detailed and insightful musings on how this has evolved, how it is sustained, and why we should worry about it. Read in particular his thoughts on iterative journalism.

There is a great deal that is quotable in this book, but what I would love to have been able to quote would have been some solutions offered to the issues at hand. However Ryan Holliday freely admits he doesn’t really have any solutions other than appealing to people’s better nature. Even more worryingly no one may have answers to these issues, and nothing may change until the medium itself does.
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Format: Kindle Edition
An interesting book for its subject matter rather than style. Its revealing, not so much of the subjectivety based on financial motives in the media (who'd have thought eh?), but that the facile world of blogging is... really facile. Through and through.
This is interesting in a way because it reveals the true nature of 'conspiracies'. You don't need a small elite of all powerful illuminati to make a conspiracy, just a bunch of unconnected amoral (media) people who all have the same inter connected financial interests and respond the same way. A conspiracy of mis-representation results- which is the author's principal conclusion. But, again - that's business as usual. There's no difference here between legitimate (the author's differentiation- not mine) journalists expressing their editors' narrative, or a real academic historian (with a waist-coat, pince nez and the usual junk of 'gravitas') spouting the fads of their generation. Its all selected to benefit somebody or other's finances or status- that's what being a social monkey is all about. What is strange is that writing this is a 'revelation', not just normality!
I think that's why this book is good, it is at least honest in its overt expression. (I probably wouldn't like to go further than that... unless I knew the author very very well....).
The most useful part I thought was his dismissal of metrics. As an outsider to the media industry, I was never impressed with the latent crudity of this mechanism, (although its something to watch carefully) and it is reassuring to be told that they are also currently handled with consumate ineptitude by users!
The bottom line though is that this book should be of only academic interest...
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