Move over Jeffrey Archer, there’s a new kid on the block
The story extract below was put up in the early hours of the morning BST today by a bloke called Matt Honan (above) at Wired magazine.
It’s c0mplete lack of awareness of the fact that it is giving tips on how to defraud advertisers, employers, and well, pretty much everyone really, is a joy to behold. I started reading and, after two paragraphs, thought ‘Hey this is an American hack being ironic, not many of those around any more’. But then I realised he was just ethically braindead. The title…
How to Use Social Media to Juice Your Story’s Popularity
….is the perfect trailer to a piece at times hilarious in its Machiavellian alacrity and enthusiasm. This is what the world’s like without regulation, Dan Hannan. Read on and weep.
In an era when a story’s success is defined by its impact, there are a lot of cheats. Need to boost pageviews? You could rent a botnet for $2 an hour and point many thousands of visitors to your story. But counting pageviews is old-school—”engagement” is where it’s at today. So I went to Fiverr, a service that lets you pay people $5 for all sorts of tasks. First, I paid someone to get 6,000 people to spend at least 30 seconds viewing my story. To juice social media I paid $5 for 2,000 shares on Facebook. I also put down $5 for 500 people to tweet my story and another $5 for 500 retweets of my own tweet. Money can’t buy me love? Nonsense.
But what really counts is influence. I need a hashtag with Klout. So I went to BuySellAds to pay someone influential to tweet it for me. I couldn’t afford the $4,600 Paris Hilton would charge, but I could swing $29 for Tiago Castro to tweet to his 100,000 followers. And who knows, if enough people love this story, maybe I can hire Snooki ($6,250) for my next one.’
I presume that as he likes paying to be popular, when Matt isn’t buying a blow-job for 15 bucks in a dark LA alley, he’s falsifying his Wikipedia entry. Maybe as a much younger man he made money copying out letters for CREEP that begged Nixon to kill all the hippies, and roll back the amendment forbidding a Third Term for US Presidents. Or, as the nearest thing you folks have to Tricky Dicky these days is Barack Obama, I’d bet a Pound to a piece of sh*t that Matt was guiding and ghost writing for all those troll swarms the Democratic campaign aimed at GOP websites during 2012.
However Matt my boy, a little word of advice: you’re based in the wrong country, chum. The US is so yesterday when it comes to amorality: the new Land of the Free to Cheat Who the F**k You Like (or hate) is the United Kingdom. Here, the sky’s the limit: you can be a tax-avoiding monopoly supplier to the British Council, and wind up Health Secretary. Or a bloke defrauding website customers by using an alias, and become Treasurer of the Conservative Party. Or have your dick up Rupert Murdoch’s back passage for three years, and make it to Ten Downing Street. Or rig a political Party election, and become a powerful Union boss. Jimmy Hoffa? Who’s he?
But here’s the real irony: not too long ago, Honan the Barbarian had his internet accounts hacked. You have never seen a man in your life on such a high horse at the moral high ground for months on end. Aaaaaaaaaarg,