FakeSteve: Good Jobs, but the Act is So Over
Congratulations all around to Daniel Lyons, author of weep-at-your-screen funny blog “written” by Steve Jobs called Fakesteve; the New York Times, which yesterday unmasked Lyons as the blog’s author; and Forbes magazine, which employs Lyons as a “straight” tech journalist and has decided, for worse or better, to give the satirical blog a home on its Web site.
For those joining the fun late, Fakesteve is a 14-month-old, wickedly insightful send-up of the wickedly self-infatuated chief of Apple.
See this entry from about a year ago, which manages in one block of text to skewer Jobs’ semi-mystical peacenik hoo-ha and along the way stick a hatpin between the ribs of two well-ventilated Valley blowhards, slam the pretentions of the Silcon Valley do-gooder mythology, and eerilly anticipate the CNN/YouTube debate question, mishandled so badly by Barak Obama he’s tried to turn his answer into a virtue, about meeting with the world’s most Evil Emporers.
Also see today’s post-reveal entry, “Damn, I am So Busted, Yo.”
Was Forbes in on the secret? Um, no. Read this earnest whodunnit, also from about a year ago, by Lyons’ Forbes colleague Rich Karlgaard.
I think it’s admirable that Forbes decided to make lemonade, and skirt the whole omigod-it’s-the-digital-Jayson-Blair thumbsuck, by pulling Lyons into its damp embrace.
Of course, with the big media sponsorship, it’s over. Fakesteve has peaked. Part of the fun was wondering who the inspired Mephistophelian behind it was. Lyons himself has, like so many sitcom writers during season two, has begun to struggle to find new plots.
But far worse, this can’t work as a corporate venture. Forbes will be in a tough position when its reporters wish to speak to the Silicon God Hisself for a “real” story. The blog will be scrutinized for evidence that it’s been hijacked by Forbes’ marketing folks, or that is has fallen into the sleeper hold Microsoft has so succesfully applied to the tech journalist community. (Just wait for the magazine’s first post-reveal positive words on Zune, and a coincidental fakesteve blog slam of the iPod. Just wait.)
Thanks, Dan Lyons, for the fun. Fakesteve, we hardly knew ye.