Although there have been several hints and rumours, which I have written about here and here — and which Virginia Heffernan at the New York Times and others at the L.A. Times, the Times of London and elsewhere have written about — the truth about who is behind the “lonelygirl15” videos on YouTube has remained elusive.
Is Bree just a regular teenager with religious parents who spends a lot of time in her room and fights with her boyfriend from time to time? Or is it a calculated viral marketing effort for a movie? The latest twist is a message purported to be from the creators of the lonelygirl15 phenomenon, who say that they are just filmmakers and artists who are trying to get people involved in their art.
But the letter — excerpted here at Danah Boyd’s blog Zephoria — is vague and generally short on details, and the website it was originally posted at appears to be down at the moment. All I get is a database error.
Here’s part of the letter:
Right now, the biggest mystery of Lonelygirl15 is “who is she?” We think this is an oversimplification. Lonelygirl15 is a reflection of everyone. She is no more real or fictitious than the portions of our personalities that we choose to show (or hide) when we interact with the people around us. Regardless, there are deeper mysteries buried within the plot, dialogue, and background of the Lonelygirl15 videos, and many of our tireless and dedicated fans have unearthed some of these.
Plenty of comment on the letter at lonelygirl forums, including this one. Some are disappointed that the mystery is over, some don’t believe it. As usual, Virginia Heffernan has the scoop (what the heck is she going to write about on her blog if the mystery is over?) And BusinessWeek media writer Jon Fine, who also got sucked into the lonelygirl15 vortex, says “It’s over, thank God.”