Peer Review: Fake Steve Jobs really is fake

Who is Fake Steve Jobs, and why does every tech article this week seem to mention him? If you go to the Fake Steve Jobs website, it doesn't look alike anything special: Just a very simply designed Google-hosted blog, where somebody pretending to be an exaggerated, arrogant version of Steve Jobs and spouts lines like, "Dude, I invented the friggin' iPhone. Have you heard of it?" and, "suing me is like suing God."

But over the past 14 months, the site had attracted a cult following, with 30,000 readers a day, many of them Silicon Valley insiders. Valleywag, the Silicon Valley blog, had been trying to discover Fake Steve Jobs' (often referred to as FSJ) real identity for months, and had guessed wrong several times already before Brad Stone, a reporter for The New York Times reported this week that Fake Steve Jobs' blog was written by Dan Lyons, an editor at Forbes.

Stone's sleuthing got him into big trouble with FSJ fans, many of whom likened his article to spoiling the end of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows or telling a child that there's no Tooth Fairy. One has even created a Fake Brad Stone blog, written in a tone almost as arrogant as Fake Steve's. The Fake Steve Jobs blog will now be hosted by Forbes.com , though now that the jig is up, it seems likely that it will lose many of its die-hard readers. FSJ commentary from around the Web after the jump.

"Thanks, Brad! Couldn't leave well enough alone, could you? I feel like a kid whose older brother just couldn't keep his yap shut, spilling his 'insider knowledge' about Santa Claus. What a frigtard." , commenter on The New York Times website

"Fake Steve was a little bit of every techno-geek. He spoke to an industry from the highest — albeit fictional — tier in a way that was refreshing, honest, and with little rhetoric." , The Gateway

"I considered 'The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs' to be legitimately well-done satire that was deeply connected to the author's anonymity, just as Banksy's politically charged graffiti is largely dependent on the artist keeping his identity under wraps. I remain a bit disappointed that the blog community (myself included) pounced on the quest for Fake Steve as though he were another trashy exhibitionist blogger using pseudonyms." , CNet

"Everyone wanted to know who had dubbed Apple customers 'iTards,' rival Bill Gates 'Beastmaster,' ponytailed Sun Microsystems CEO Jonathan Schwartz 'My Little Pony,' influential Wall Street Journal columnist Walter Mossberg 'Goatberg,' and Eric Schmidt, Google's chief executive and an Apple director 'Squirrel Boy.' " , SFGate.com

"We conducted a thoroughly unscientific poll asking Valleywag readers how much Forbes should pay Dan Lyons… to bring his faux-Apple-CEO show to the magazine's website. The answer? A solid majority said Forbes should pay Lyons at least $100,000, and the weighted average of the votes came in at $275,495." , Valleywag

"But by far the best part of the whole story is the Real Steve Jobs' reaction. Timesman John Markoff — who contributed to Stone's story — seems to have contacted Jobs via iChat. Jobs "did not seem all that interested when told the identity of his online doppelganger," , Salon.com

"Maybe Lyons… should simply retire his alter ego at the height of its fame and blog at Forbes.com as the real Daniel Lyons. I'd sure read whatever he had to say" , PC World

"Tech bloggers tried to build a bit of excitement around a super-secret Apple announcement at the company's Silicon Valley headquarters this week… Yes, that was interesting — but it also kind of got overshadowed by the outing of the Fake Steve Jobs." , The Washington Post

"Why couldnt they just leave it the hell alone?? he pleaded with them. this is why i refuse to watch the news, mtv, all of it. its trash invading peoples lives like this. i think Daniel Lyons should be suing the ass off the NYT" , commenter on Engadget

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