Identity of Lonelygirl15 revealed

Update:

Valleywag has more links on Jessica “lonelygirl15” Rose (is that her “real” real name I wonder?), including a link to a photo montage of her and some friends goofing around and a video clip. Bloggers Blog has a link to her resume, which includes a KFC spot, and there’s a whole pile of photos here.

Update 2:

Virginia Heffernan has an excellent in-depth piece on how the whole affair evolved. If nothing else, lonelygirl15 is an interesting look at how resourceful Web-heads can track down just about anything, no matter how careful those planning it have been. And Tom Foremski explains how his son Matt broke the story. The L.A. Times also has an in-depth look, including an interview with the guys behind the story.

Update 3:

Associated Press got an interview with Jessica, who says she answered a classified ad on (where else) Craigslist, and had never been to YouTube or seen a video-blog before she started the project. She says all the attention has been overwhelming.

Original post:

Kudos to Tom Foremski of Silicon Valley Watcher and his brother son Matt for tracking down the identity of the girl behind the “lonelygirl15” videos on YouTube. According to photos that Tom has posted on his blog, the allegedly 16-year-old known as “Bree” with the ultra-religious parents is actually (surprise!) an aspiring actress named Jessica Rose, who is 19 years old and recently moved to Los Angeles from New Zealand to find work. The pictures were apparently found thanks to Google’s cache (ironically, her catchphrase on her MySpace page is “I wish you weren’t a liar”).

If you’re like me (and I know I am), you’ve watched the “lonelygirl15” saga with a mixture of fascination and shame. Fascination at how the magic of YouTube and a couple of short video clips has propelled Bree to the forefront not just of the blogosphere but of the regular media as well, with New York Times writer Virginia Heffernan outdoing even yours truly with her daily updates. And a little bit of shame at how obsessed I have been with something so, well… lame. I mean, all Bree did was sit in her room and talk about her boyfriend and her parents (okay, there was the swimming video, but come on).

Maybe it’s because I have teenagers, and was hoping for a glimpse at what makes them tick (Note: still don’t have a clue). To some extent I think it was an attempt to understand why these short video clips with so little in them — not even a skateboard trick or a cute kitten climbing out of a Kleenex box — got tens of thousands of views in a single day. And then I think it became a mystery: was she fake or wasn’t she?

And now, unfortunately, the mystery is gone. But as a friend mentioned to me, the great thing about the Internet is that something even better (or worse, depending on how you look at it) is just around the corner 🙂

Share

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.