Man, I head out for a few days (I've been away at BlizzCon, reporting for our online gaming cousin WoW Insider), and Fake Steve got burnt. Not by us, of course-- we made a promise to not care about the identity of Fake Steve, and we still don't. But we're not the only site on the Internet, and the real Fake Steve is out there. So the question then becomes: now what?
FSJ himself claims it's not over, though he is taking a short break. Forbes is going to sponsor the blog, although it's not clear what "sponsoring" means in that context. All we care about is that we still get Fake Steve-- the wacky ramblings and sparkling insights of Steve Jobs. Is that what we'll get? As Gruber points out, it's probably not. FSJ's last post is not in the voice of Steve Jobs; it's in the voice of someone pretending to be him. The curtain is falling already.
There's an interesting parallel to this, and it's newsworthy, too: Bree, as of last Friday, is dead. Lonelygirl15, the young woman who took over YouTube and then was discovered to be the product of an imagination, was killed in the final online episode of her story. When Lonelygirl15 was outed, I was just as intrigued as I was with the mystery of FSJ-- who is she and what is this really all about? But when the mystery was revealed, I grew bored with it, and a look at the last Lonelygirl video tells me that I didn't miss much-- the stuff that attracted me in the first place (an interesting form, a simple, mysterious conceit) has long since been abandoned for a huge, boring cast and a formulaic plot (a group called "The Order" features prominently). Once Lonelygirl admitted she was fake, she became so.
So the worry with Fake Steve is that the same thing will happen. Gruber thinks we're in denial, but we're not-- when a newspaper editor told Virginia there was a Santa Claus, was he denying the truth? We want Fake Steve-- a witty, insightful blog from a Steve Jobs who pretends that he's real, sounds like he's real, and therefore is real. We just worry that now that the bubble's broken, Fake Steve won't stick to his guns and stay real.