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Viral tactics

One of the things on my standing to-do list, to compose an article for [news site] has been steadily gathering inertia; it hasn’t been clear to me exactly why. In a previous iteration I’d assume it’s because I’m lazy, but I’m beginning to reject that characterization of myself (along with “crazy”, “oversensitive”, “clingy”, whatever).

Lacking that easy explanation, I’ve had to explore other possibilities.

Having rejected the Matrix as reality, I nevertheless still have to move within it. And I haven’t figured out to what extent I can defy the gravity of this fake world. Will I be able to disseminate my ideas without utilizing the same machinery that disseminates the nonsense I hate? Will I be able to propel my advocacies without compromise – purely with the force of my personality / with the assistance of actors with whom I could fully identify?

That’s the question I’ll try to answer this year. If I can’t get it to work then I’ll try compromise.

 

*******

 

These reviews of a book called Trust Me, I’m Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator elucidated some of the feelings I have about the media. (Which is, after all, my chosen field of study.)

There are good actors and bad actors in the world of PR. This is true of any industry. The bad “flacks” tarnish the image of the good “flacks” just as a bad doctor tarnishes the image of a good doctor. Holiday comes from the world of “bad flacks.” That’s fine. The truth eventually catches up with them. Bad individuals and bad firms earn reputations that follow them around. Do they find work? Sure. So do criminals though. That’s not a testament to their virtue. “We can shape opinions with cleverly crafted lies.” The crafting isn’t clever and shaping opinions with lies is nothing new. – Ryan (abridged)

The cause of such gaping vulnerability in the blog world is the decimation of the news media due to declining ad sales, which leads to slashed budgets and bare-bones newsrooms, which leads to hiring barely-out-of-college interns, which leads to awful (yet effective) “viral” tactics.

It’s not just bloggers who are lazy/overworked/underpaid, it’s TV and newpaper reporters too. If you want to learn how to get some product, political candidate, or a jerk like Tucker Max to blow up on the internet in viral fireworks, then yes, this is the book.
This book reminds me what a crummy world we live in, and how humanity is all but lost to millennials who post for pennies and just want to fill copy space next to banner ads. They will never learn real journalism, or even become interested in the real stories, because they don’t have time. They will only get better at the copy & paste crap they keep doing every day. Do these kids even think for a second about anything beyond a headline or a meme?  – Robbie Ann McPherson (abridged)

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