Confessions of a Digital Media Manipulator: Ryan Holiday


An intimate, no holds barred conversation with a digital media provocateur.

New York Viral Media Meetup is getting into gear for a lineup of exceptional Fall events (we loved the Summer break but we're glad to be back!).

Join Charlie Oliver (Director of Digital Media at Served Fresh Media) in an intimate conversation with someone who is undeniably one of the most controversial people in digital media in recent years: Ryan Holiday (Director of Marketing at American Apparel, and author of the controversial, Wall Street Journal best-seller, Trust Me I'm Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator.

In this no holds barred, one-on-one interview discussion with Ryan Holiday, a digital media manipulator, you'll hear for yourself why Ryan's strategies are used as case studies by media giants Twitter, YouTube and Google and why news media outlets like Forbes, NY Times, Ad Age and Fast Company have so much to say about him and his controversial book.

Ryan Holiday is a self-styled “media manipulator” who exposes the blogosphere as corrupt to its very core. Trust Me, I’m Lying is essential reading for anyone concerned with the current health of our digital media. His is an important new voice. —TechCrunch“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“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“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“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

Join us for a compelling, no holds barred, one-on-one interview discussion with Ryan Holiday, a digital media manipulator.


Ryan Holiday (@ryanholiday) is a media strategist for notorious clients like Tucker Max and Dov Charney. After dropping out of college at 19 to apprentice under the strategist Robert Greene, he went on to advise many bestselling authors and multi-platinum musicians. He is the Director of Marketing at American Apparel, where his work in advertising was internationally known. His strategies are used as case studies by Twitter, YouTube and Google and have been written about in AdAge, the New York Times, Gawker and Fast Company. His first book, Trust Me I’m Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator, was a Wall Street Journal bestseller. He currently lives in New Orleans with his rebellious puppy, Hanno.

Ryan HolidayCharlie Oliver

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  • Charlie O.

    Mike, thanks for coming out last night. Unfortunately, you erroneously assumed we were going to spend two hours talking about a book he wrote two years ago -- something that would've been of little interest to him when he has done so much since then. You also referred to this as a "seminar" when you asked your question at the event last night. We never represented this event (or any of our events) as a "how to" seminar. This was a discussion about Ryan's career and perspectives on media as a whole. If you want clear examples and a step-by-step guide on how to manipulate the media then may I suggest, as Ryan did last night, that you simply read his book?
    Thanks for your feedback.

    October 4, 2013

    • Mike M.

      I agree with you, Charlie that the words "seminar" or "how to" are not appropriate descriptions. However, even a humble discussion can at times deviate from the "soft questions" and slip in a "hard one" that probes motivations & execution. Whether 2 or 20 years ago is irrelevant if people are still questioning the ultimate honesty of certain advertising tactics but in this case they are still going on today. "One question" during a 45min interview asking Mr. Holiday to talk about the highlight of his legendary career is not too much to expect especially when it's religiously titled "Confessions of a Digital Media Manipulator." However, I want to end on a positive note. You must be congratulated on the fabulous work you've done so far with the NY Viral Meetup. The two other discussions I've attended have been very unique and informative. Hope you don't put me in the enemy camp but then again you sometimes learn more from your enemies than your friends.

      1 · October 4, 2013

    • Charlie O.

      No worries, Mike. I appreciate your participation and feedback! Thanks for the input and food for thought.

      October 6, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Outstanding / Charlie Is like Charlie Rose / a great interviewer and a fine guest to match

    1 · October 4, 2013

    • Charlie O.

      Thank you, Jim! So glad you could join us! : )

      October 4, 2013

  • Charlie O.


    October 4, 2013

  • Mike M.

    Would have been nice to have some insightful questions about Mr. Holiday's infamous media manipulations rather than questions about the books in his home library but no such luck. A lost opportunity to go behind the scenes and learn the tricks of the cyber trade from the master manipulator himself.

    October 3, 2013

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