Plain Layne Hoax

The City Pages ran an intriguing story this week about a fictional blogger who duped quite a lot of folks. Plain Layne seemed like a real person living in the Twin Cities and blogging for an audience of 5,000 since September 2001. After the site mysteriously vanished earlier this month, eager audience members banded together to piece the story together.

Turns out a 35-year-old man with a wife and two kids from Woodbury fooled thousands of online readers into thinking his 27-year-old lesbian character was real. Odin Soli considered the whole project “an experiment in creative interactive fiction” and claims he’s not planning to turn the publicity into a book deal. Jason Kottke calls it realtime fiction.

While the original Plain Layne site is no longer live, a few excerpts and a short explanation can be found on Soli’s new site. The excerpts quickly prove how convincing Layne must have been.

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