Posting fake news

It’s time to confess. I’ve done a very naughty thing.

I want you to know so I can clear my conscience and get out of these chains of guilt!

I’ve been posting fake news items on my blog to attract traffic to my site so I could sell copies of my novel SEETHINGS!

I’m sorry. There, I said it! It’s out! That feels much better!

In my defense, the material I sent out was accurate and true… to the novel of course. There ARE news item in the book that DO exist and all I’ve done is rejiggered them to suit an online posting so it looks like a real-life news item. So you might as well say I wasn’t lying. It was completely honest. The truth is just matter of perception!

AND… I did include something in each online post to make it blatantly obvious that the stories can’t be true. Nevertheless, the traffic statistics proved that people wanted those stories to be real. They’ve taken what they saw first rather than analyzing all the details. I didn’t mind. Traffic is what I wanted from posting fake news and traffic is what I got/getting from it. The job was done and I could buy my second helicopter with all the profits.

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For those arriving to my site for the first time, I’m referring to this and that previous posts:

Posting fake news posts started with this one below. It was timed to coincide with a real life event that happened earlier this year. A violent storm passed through Brisbane, Queensland one afternoon and my posting about a woman being hanged during a storm near a famous landmark went out almost immediately afterwards. The wave of traffic that came in the 24hrs afterwards was absolutely phenomenal! Here is what it looked like:

Photographer hanged while taking storm photos

Photographer Maxine Sewell, 32, was found hanging from a cliff near the Story Bridge by early morning commuters this morning. It is believed she fell while taking photos during last night’s fierce electrical storm.

Fortitude Valley police are saying little about today’s grim discovery.

‘This just looks like a terrible accident. Her phone and handbag were neatly placed under a bush near from where she fell. A tripod was discovered at the base of the cliff,’ said Seargent John Williams.

Cyclist David Sheehan was one of the first to find her body dangling from branch at the edge of Wilson Outlook Reserve.

‘It looks as though her camera’s neck-strap became hooked on something as she slid down the ledge. I didn’t believe what I was seeing. I just thought someone was playing a practical joke and had hung a mannequin up there.’

More here in SEETHINGS.

Maxine Sewell’s character plays a vital role in the early part of this book’s narrative. By employing someone like her to kick things off, we’re able to explore the world of professional wedding photography in Brisbane.

Although a relatively harmless, benign business, the dangers are still very real.

Maxine is not a landscape photographer. She’s a wedding photographer trying to prove she can mix it up with the best and outdo fellow wedding photographer Mitchell Felding by capturing the perfect lightning shot, she winds up dead. It looks like an accident.

We find out Maxine hasn’t been an angel. She’s collected a few enemies. Her drunken rants and conniving ways has left a trail of destruction and there are quite a few people who won’t miss her.

The question is: Was her death an accident? – Michael Forman (Author of SEETHINGS)

That first attempt at posting a fake news item was a pretty ordinary one, wouldn’t you agree? It’s hard to believe anyone took it for real. The story is far too short. The blurb afterwards is much longer! Many people just didn’t read into the story very far or I guess that just don’t want to disbelieve. That sense of shock is more appealing than truth!

That second post included a reporter and a few of her contact details. I purposely made this post look like it came from a news outlet. I made the header component appear most genuine. I even went to the trouble of finding a scrolling news widget to put on the page and loaded it with superfluous links to everywhere and anywhere, most of them, like the reporter’s links, were turned back into the SEETHINGS promotional environment in one way or another. The sidebars were reconfigured for 24hrs to display other news content. It was a hoot to setup and watch the visitor count soar afterwards!

[ditty_news_ticker id=”70682″]

What are you looking at? I'm not a real reporter. Got you!

Story by reporter: Julie Sephlia : Twitter: i.sephlia : Facebook



Looks pretty real to me.

Two Meadowbrook photography TAFE students taking a walk this morning discovered a woman’s near naked body in low lying grass on the banks of the Logan River.

Charlene Foley, 38 of Kingston, was last seen on Wednesday night after she told her husband she was going for a walk. She never returned.

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Logan City Police have released the following statement:

Perhaps this is a stock shot for trainers to use.

‘Mrs Foley appears to have left her Kingston address at about seven thirty on the night of the 15th and then made her way down Juers St. We believe she has either met with someone or was abducted, relocating to Meadowbrook soon after. There are signs of sexual assault and we’re currently looking for a white sedan that was seen in the area around that time. We are also searching for her mobile phone’s SIM card. Cadets from Oxley will be doing a ground-search today, retracing her movements along the river, Armstrong Rd and surrounds.’

Photography student Len Skapp who first discovered the body said, ‘We were photographing insects and I said to John what’s that in the background? I thought it was someone sunbathing.’

Mrs Foley leaves behind two daughters and a son.

[ditty_news_ticker id=”70682″]

The question is: Did Charlene Foley know her killer before she stepped onto the street that night?

Yes, you’ve been drawn into reading another cutting excerpt from SEETHINGS by Michael Forman. Order your copy below and, like this post, expect the unexpected!

The Novel ¦The Author ¦ Order 
SEETHINGS novel by Michael Forman (This is real)

“Mike has put together a strong, heart beating novel, one which the readers of ‘psychotic thrillers’ will enjoy  – for the faint hearted, leave it alone!”

(Reader) Mike M. Roleystone

P.S Len Skapp? Surely you didn’t believe that did you? By the way, that name (or any other corny one like it) doesn’t appear in the narrative. I just had to indulge this post with a giggle-type-moment to see if you were paying attention. 😉 – Mx

Again, I included a blurb at the end to iron everything out for anyone who took the time to read through to it. For those who didn’t, I gave a good clue a fair bit earlier. Within the so-called news content, I named a new character (made only for the post) Len Skapp in hope that it’d bleed-in some doubt. I’m sure some got it at that point. The post generated over 2k worth of traffic. It was one way this writer temporarily unchained himself from his desk! I was able to sit back and watch the results tick over for the next few days.


There are a few more opportunities to post fake news items from my book for some time in the future and, in due course, I’ll break them out, post them here and include my special twisted sense of silliness to jolt the more clued-in readers back to reality. In the meantime, enjoy reading SEETHINGS by ordering a copy here or an ebook here.

3297421301_ed844e9748Enter your email address to keep in contact with us.

It’s noir. It’s truth.

Regards, Michael Forman (Author)

Posting fake news items to increase online traffic and sales. was originally published on MICHAEL FORMAN AUTHOR

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