“I love Fake Steve Jobs” and Facebook’s PR crisis

Here’s my Fake Steve Jobs story (Fake Steve Jobs is a blog that pretends it’s written by Apple CEO/co-founder Steve Jobs. It got popular this year and recently it was revealed that a Forbes Magazine employee is its author).

Last week I was getting an iced latte at the new Peets in Half Moon Bay. I was wearing a Blogger T-shirt. Old school. There a lady came up to me and asked “is that the Fake Steve Jobs T-shirt?”

I remembered that FSJ published his blog on Blogger and figured the Blogger logo was confusing this lady who assumed it was FSJ’s logo. Blogger, as you know, is the blog service from Google which was started by Evan Williams, er, evhead.

Anyway, I explained to her that the logo wasn’t really Fake Steve Jobs, but rather the tool he published with. Demonstrates that there’s a lot of brand power in Fake Steve Jobs.

As she walked away she said “I love Fake Steve Jobs.”

Truth be told I love FSJ too. Why?

Well.

1. He’s funny, even when he attacks me.
2. Everytime he links he sends boatloads of traffic. I don’t know why I love that, but it makes me happy to see that Fake Steve Jobs has boatloads more readers than Valleywag does (Valleywag says they have tons of traffic, but they don’t click on anything. I’ve been on both sites dozens of times and FSJ’s audience clicks at 20x the rate that Valleywag’s does).
3. He’s been talking about me looking for a job lately which brings a big smile to my face although someone shoot me if I ever take a CEO job. That doesn’t sound fun to me at all. Lucrative, yes, but not fun and I simply wouldn’t be good at that.
4. He’s a lot better writer than I am.
5. He’s a lot better speaker than I am.
6. He has a cool job at a big business magazine (Forbes).

I wish I could get FSJ on my show. Something fun would be to do a little debate about something. Remember, the guy who writes Fake Steve Jobs is actually a Forbes magazine employee, Daniel Lyons. He was the guy who wrote a cover article back in 2005 about how blogs sucked. Everyone who thinks Daniel is such a great blogger should go back and read that article and compare his beliefs back then with FSJ today. Oh, sorry, that’s not funny.

I wonder if Daniel still feels the same way about blogs attacking brand value now that he uses a blog to attack other people, companies, and things?

Or, we could be more professional and debate industry topics like the state of Apple’s brand value or whether the Amazon Kindle is well designed or not.

Hmmm, maybe we should just do a panel session at a conference and debate about how much value Facebook is going to destroy due to horrible PR? That might be entertaining.

Facebook has the most controlling PR department outside of Apple and it sure is in the middle of a PR crisis right now.

I feel ambivalent about the troubles Facebook is having right now. Personally I’m having lots of trouble with Facebook but Facebook doesn’t care about people who have more than 5,000 friends unless they can figure out a way to monetize us. Everytime I look at Facebook I am reminded of how little Facebook cares about me. So, I care less and less about Facebook every day.

My phone number is on my Facebook entry. Interesting that Facebook could use me to answer the community’s concerns. I’d give them hours of video time on my show. But they only seem interested in talking to big-brand journalists and I’m not interested enough to pull out my Fast Company business cards to get them to pay attention. They should invite 40 bloggers who are lower on the TechMeme leaderboard than me and just have a conversation about the mess they are in. But they’ll never do that because they are so damn controlling about what they say and who they say it to.

For completeness, here’s Facebook’s official answer to the latest troubles with its Beacon advertising scheme.

Anyway, that was a really long entry to say that I’d rather read Fake Steve Jobs than log into Facebook lately. At least with FSJ I get entertained as I get bashed. With Facebook I just am reminded that there’s more than 1,000 people that I can’t help because of Facebook’s lame scalability issues. MySpace or upstart Zude are sure looking better and better. Just get that OpenSocial platform done and let’s get on with it!

73 thoughts on ““I love Fake Steve Jobs” and Facebook’s PR crisis

  1. First. FSJ has been around for a few years, not one. And I’m one of the pathetic folks that is absolutely hooked on his blog. I was broken when he was ‘outed’ earlier this year.

    Second. You nailed Facebook. Outside of all of their technical and functionality failures the biggest disappointment of the year was them grabbing/projecting the ridiculous 15B market cap. Good luck breaking over the top of that valuation and pitching to your new hires that there will be upside to their equity they receive. With options based on an insane 15b mark….only dummies will join with any hope of upside. Think about that one and write it up.

  2. First. FSJ has been around for a few years, not one. And I’m one of the pathetic folks that is absolutely hooked on his blog. I was broken when he was ‘outed’ earlier this year.

    Second. You nailed Facebook. Outside of all of their technical and functionality failures the biggest disappointment of the year was them grabbing/projecting the ridiculous 15B market cap. Good luck breaking over the top of that valuation and pitching to your new hires that there will be upside to their equity they receive. With options based on an insane 15b mark….only dummies will join with any hope of upside. Think about that one and write it up.

  3. Some Guy: you might have missed that I write for Fast Company now too. So I’m a professional too.

    Kevin: one thing, though. Facebook used people like me to build the hype up around it, which brought it a huge valuation. MySpace doesn’t have those limitations, has more users than Facebook does. What if all of the influentials decided that Facebook sucks? Will that valuation keep up? No.

    Facebook is the only major social network with such a lame technical limitation that I know of. So, your analogy doesn’t hold. It’s like GM, Mercedes, BMW, Toyota and others are already building such a pickup truck for you and you’d like to stick with Ford, but they aren’t building you the truck you want.

    Me? I’m moving.

  4. Some Guy: you might have missed that I write for Fast Company now too. So I’m a professional too.

    Kevin: one thing, though. Facebook used people like me to build the hype up around it, which brought it a huge valuation. MySpace doesn’t have those limitations, has more users than Facebook does. What if all of the influentials decided that Facebook sucks? Will that valuation keep up? No.

    Facebook is the only major social network with such a lame technical limitation that I know of. So, your analogy doesn’t hold. It’s like GM, Mercedes, BMW, Toyota and others are already building such a pickup truck for you and you’d like to stick with Ford, but they aren’t building you the truck you want.

    Me? I’m moving.

  5. “Facebook but Facebook doesn’t care about people who have more than 5,000 friends unless they can figure out a way to monetize us.”

    Or it could be you are a corner case to facebook and it’s not worth their dev and test time to build a feature very few in the world would use?

    I want Ford to build a pick up with a 32in plasma TV, speakers, a bar, a barbecue, and satellite dish. But they won’t so I guess they don’t care about me.

    “With Facebook I just am reminded that there’s more than 1,000 people that I can’t help because of Facebook’s lame scalability issues”

    So you view yourself as the Mother Teresa of Facebook?

  6. “Facebook but Facebook doesn’t care about people who have more than 5,000 friends unless they can figure out a way to monetize us.”

    Or it could be you are a corner case to facebook and it’s not worth their dev and test time to build a feature very few in the world would use?

    I want Ford to build a pick up with a 32in plasma TV, speakers, a bar, a barbecue, and satellite dish. But they won’t so I guess they don’t care about me.

    “With Facebook I just am reminded that there’s more than 1,000 people that I can’t help because of Facebook’s lame scalability issues”

    So you view yourself as the Mother Teresa of Facebook?

  7. I know, I asked them whether it really was true that Coke used cocaine in its products in the early years.

    I am tempted to channel FSJ and ask if you asked the Facetards the same question.

    Just kidding! Though you have to wonder if having every web site on earth update Facebook with an entry every time you’d purchased a pair of pink frilly socks in women’s size 10 wasn’t drug inspired. “Say hello to my little Javascript!”

    Namaste.

  8. I know, I asked them whether it really was true that Coke used cocaine in its products in the early years.

    I am tempted to channel FSJ and ask if you asked the Facetards the same question.

    Just kidding! Though you have to wonder if having every web site on earth update Facebook with an entry every time you’d purchased a pair of pink frilly socks in women’s size 10 wasn’t drug inspired. “Say hello to my little Javascript!”

    Namaste.

  9. You seem to have a lot of anger and bile. Maybe you need a REAL break.

    Escape to Utah. You and your family can crash at our place and you can hide from all of them for a while.

    It’s better here, believe me.

  10. You seem to have a lot of anger and bile. Maybe you need a REAL break.

    Escape to Utah. You and your family can crash at our place and you can hide from all of them for a while.

    It’s better here, believe me.

  11. >> 2. Everytime he links he sends boatloads of traffic. I don’t know why I love that, but it makes me happy to see that Fake Steve Jobs has boatloads more readers than Valleywag does (Valleywag says they have tons of traffic, but they don’t click on anything. I’ve been on both sites dozens of times and FSJ’s audience clicks at 20x the rate that Valleywag’s does). <<

    Hi,

    I’m a counter-example — I read Valleywag (hilarious, for the technically minded, in the same vein as The Inquirer) but this is (I think) my first visit to your blog. The only other time I hear about you is when Mathew Ingram mentions you.

    Cheers,
    Alex

  12. >> 2. Everytime he links he sends boatloads of traffic. I don’t know why I love that, but it makes me happy to see that Fake Steve Jobs has boatloads more readers than Valleywag does (Valleywag says they have tons of traffic, but they don’t click on anything. I’ve been on both sites dozens of times and FSJ’s audience clicks at 20x the rate that Valleywag’s does). <<

    Hi,

    I’m a counter-example — I read Valleywag (hilarious, for the technically minded, in the same vein as The Inquirer) but this is (I think) my first visit to your blog. The only other time I hear about you is when Mathew Ingram mentions you.

    Cheers,
    Alex

  13. Funny, after falling in Love with Facebook for the last few months, I suddenly detest it after the Beacon fiasco. I think they are doomed..and Myspace is actually starting to look like a better place (shudder)

    I can’t believe how FB pressures people to use their real identity and then just completely violates IT like that. I’m getting angrier as I Type.

    TO HADES WITH FACEBOOK!!!

  14. Funny, after falling in Love with Facebook for the last few months, I suddenly detest it after the Beacon fiasco. I think they are doomed..and Myspace is actually starting to look like a better place (shudder)

    I can’t believe how FB pressures people to use their real identity and then just completely violates IT like that. I’m getting angrier as I Type.

    TO HADES WITH FACEBOOK!!!

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