Tracking Fake Steve


Tracking Fake Steve

Fake Steve Jobs has become a cult celebrity on the net over the past year. His parody of Real Steve Jobs is almost always hilarious and often times insightful. His popularity grew even more when Real Steve and Bill Gates admitted to reading the blog at All Things D last month. It’s no wonder that trying to unmask the man behind the curtain has prompted a net-wide man hunt.

Earlier today, Scott posted his new iPhone Haiku website. It’s a joke of a website really, but we thought it would be something FSJ would like and sent him a link. But, before we did, we thought we’d try a little experiment.

From previous emails, I know that FSJ uses Yahoo Mail. So any link he clicks on would generate a Yahoo mail referrer. If we wanted to find his IP address, all we’d have to do is check our referrer logs for clicks coming out of Yahoo mail. But that might not be foolproof. How could we single out his visit from anyone else using Yahoo? Easy. Send him a different link than what others would use to access the site.We sent him (and only him) a link to which would redirect him to our proper url. Sure enough, it worked.

At 11:36am we got a hit to our “secret” url with the following:

What was his IP?

That IP comes from the Boston area – which appears to validate the theory posted here by Diego Barros. Want further proof it was him? He used that url when he linked to us on his blog.

Will this finally unveil the real FSJ? Of course not. But at least it puts those “FSJ is from the UK” theories to rest. Maybe.

Update 1: FSJ removes the link to iPhone Haiku and Radio Active Blog — who has been trying to out FSJ — thinks he’s on the run!

Update 2: FSJ is revealed! He’s none other than Dan Lyons, senior editor at Forbes. Oh, and we did get his location correct — he resides in Boston, MA.

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