23 February 2007

Fake Steve Jobs: Suck 2.0?

I was heartened to see that the future of the Fake Steve Jobs blog now seems assured, following a deal with Wired (kudos). God knows we need more such snarky sites in an increasingly humourless and pusillanimous world.

Taking advantage of this new stability, I settled down to read a few of the many postings that I'd missed, and a distant cyber-bell began ringing. I thought: "I have been here before... I know the grass beyond the door", and then it struck me.

Once upon a time, in an online world far away, there was a little Web site called Suck. Its motto:

"a fish, a barrel, and a smoking gun"

It came out of nowhere, starting on 28 August 1995, and ran for nearly six years. It was wonderful: it deflated the growing hype bubble that was Dotcom 1.0, and it did it with cool, mordant wit. (If you want the whole, roller-coaster story of Suck, read it here in Wired - rather appopriately, as it turns out.)

FSJ is Suck 2.0: it punctures that which must be punctured, and it does it with a different kind of wit, this time black and scabrous. But along with the similarities, there is an important difference between the two sites.

Suck, for all its undoubted virtues, took itself far too seriously, as any adolescent genius might. FSJ, by contrast, is more mature, more cynical; it takes nothing seriously, least of all itself (it is a parody site, after all). In other words, FSJ is the perfect mirror for the Web 2.0 world we live in.

Namaste, Steve.

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