The New York Times website this Sunday had a little surprise for us all. One of the paper’s best known journalists, Brad Stone, put the pieces together on who the Fake Steve Jobs really is: Dan Lyons, Senior Editor and tech writer at Forbes. I personally couldn’t have been more surprised.
Now Forbes.com has released an exclusive interview with Lyons, and the 14-month-old blog will be published on the site as of August 6th.
For all the FSJ followers out there, or even for those who’ve ever read a post or two, what does being busted actually mean for the satirical, and often cuttingly sardonic, voice of the FSJ’s blog?
“Fake Steve Jobs will add a different voice to Forbes.com, but one that is in the Forbes tradition…” states Forbes.com Editor Paul Maidment. Hmmm… FSJ in the Forbes tradition…?
While Forbes has, in the past, demonstrated the ability to be unafraid to be controversial, how much can Dan Lyons get away with now that he’s inextricably associated with the 90 year old conservative publication run by a highly controlling Steve Forbes.
States Lyons about the future publishing of his blog on Forbes.com in an interview for the site: “The deal is that nothing changes. They want it to be really edgy and fun. They’re not going to edit it and they’re not going to censor it in any way. They really want it to let it rip…”
It’s hard to gauge reactions just yet, but companies, people, and the Real Steve Jobs now have a real live person to direct any complaints to. Forbes has its relationship with Apple to think about as well. One can’t help but wonder whether Steve Forbes and company really are going to be entirely hands off about exercising editorial control of any sort on a blog that is posted by one of their employees on the official Forbes website.
And then of course there’s the fact that this really is somewhat surreal. Lyons looks and sounds like an unassuming, good-natured, pretty normal sort of guy, and I for one had to make a definite leap of faith to picture him writing some of the more outrageous things that the FSJ is so revered for. Part of the problem with blowing Lyons’s cover is that one now pictures the FSJ’s posts as coming from a middle aged Forbes tech writer.
Will following episodes of The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs be able to retain their irreverent, snarky entertainment value? I for one am curious to read on.