Conversation ca. Q2 2010….
“Ya know, we guarantee high Google rankings. We’ve got writers who specialize in Google algorithms. They craft SEO-friendly (Search Engine Optimization) online content that will all point to Red Angle.”
“Hmmm. Do I have to meet with these writers to explain what I do and how I do it?”
“Nope. You never meet with them. They’ll study your website, create new content and then send it all over the web through blogging channels and other creative ways.”
“So… a group of kids who don’t know me or my company will bang out a bunch of fake news articles about me, post it on their blogs and send it all over the web with embedded links pointing to me so Google will rank me highly. Is that about right?”
“Well… I wouldn’t say it like that… but that’s the general idea.”
It was in this conversation that I learned about the 2 types of blogging.
The first is what I’m doing with this Red Angle blog: sharing my thoughts and ideas to help people. I want to establish trust, present a unique point of view and with any luck – start a conversation.
There are no ads on my site.
There is no affiliate marketing.
I don’t get paid if you click on anything.
That’s the first type of blogging
The second type of blogging is based on clicks.
Clicks at any cost.
Clicks over trust.
Clicks over new ideas.
Clicks over helping people.
It’s all clicks, all the time.
Money from the ads.
Ads support the website.
The website ROI is determined by clicks.
Trust Me, I’m Lying by Ryan Holiday (director of marketing for American Apparel and PR agent-for-hire) is an open-kimono style tell-all about the second type of blogging.
The clicks-driven blogging.
The subtitle is Confessions of a Media Manipulator.
Holiday confesses to lying, bribing and conning his way to online success.
At least a type of success in the mess that passes for online journalism these days.
Why would he do this?
Attention and gossip drive sales – of books, clothing and more.
Given the incentives involved (it’s their paycheck) for bloggers it’s too easy not to, Holiday says.
Bloggers need to crank out content as fast as possible, the more tantalizing, the better.
Woodward and Bernstein journalism is gone.
Gossip is news.
All sources are reliable.
False information needs no retraction.
From a blogger perspective, a good story is one that people click and share.
If it gets everyone riled up, all the better.
Just grip it and rip it.
Hell, Gawker’s tagline is “Today’s gossip is tomorrow’s news.”
Here were 2 “leading” stories on Business Insider from Sunday evening:
Please… don’t click on these links.
Bottom Line: Trust Me, I’m Lying lays all the cards in the online journalism deck face up. It’s important to understand the system that incentivizes the online BS, even if you dislike Holiday in the process. If you are in a purchasing role for online advertising, this book is a must read. Read it, take notes, and then quiz the heck out of your agency.
Bradley Hartmann is El Presidente at Red Angle (www.redanglespanish.com).
41. Trust Me, I’m Lying by Ryan Holiday
Categories: Libro 52 Challenge