The New York Times has busted the writer behind the brilliant bit of satire called the Fake Steve Jobs weblog. It’s Forbes senior editor Daniel Lyons. Yes, that Daniel Lyons. The one who wrote the infamous blog-bashing cover story with the screaming head, “Attack of the Blogs,” that was promoted with the sub-head: “Web logs are the prized platform of an online lynch mob spouting liberty but spewing lies, libel and invective. Their potent allies in this pursuit include Google and Yahoo.”
Dear Daniel, all is forgiven. I didn’t realize that cover story was written as satire. Duh.
Lyons’ run as Fake Steve is one of the most enjoyable run of blogging I’ve read. His humor was spot-on and, at times, inspired. He lives a continent away from Silicon Valley (in Boston) and, despite endless speculation, has no insider knowledge of Apple. According to the Times, “Mr. Lyons says he has never interviewed Mr. Jobs nor written a story about the company. ‘I have zero sources inside Apple,’ he said. ‘I had to go out and get books and biographies to learn about a lot of the back story.'”
While I regret we’ll no longer get to enjoy Fake Steve with “child-like wander,” his outing did provide him with the opportunity to channel real Dan Lyons with a swipe at bloggers — this time, a swipe at some who deserve all the swipes they get.
“One bright side is that at least I was busted by the Times and not Valleywag. I really, really enjoyed seeing those guys keep guessing wrong. For six months Dr. Evil and Mr. Bigglesworth put their big brains together and couldn’t come up with the answer. Guy from the Times did it in a week. So much for the trope about smarty-pants bloggers disrupting old media. Brilliant. My only regret is that we didn’t get a chance to see Bigglesworth take a few more swings and misses.
Fake Steve/Dan Lyons has a book coming out in October — I already placed my order for “Options: The Secret Life of Steve Jobs, a Parody” (Amazon link).