The story of LinkMachineGo blogger Darren, who deduced Belle de Jour’s identity in 2001, realising her online know-how meant she probably blogged elsewhere too… A post by Brooke Magnanti’s elsewhere (about whiskey) finally convinced him.
Darren didn’t tell Brooke Magnanti he knew who she was till several weeks ago, when he spotted that Associated Newspapers were onto her…
“During this time I published a googlewack hidden in my blog – the words ‘Belle de Jour’ ‘Brooke Magnanti’ and ‘Methylsalicylate’ were published and available in Google’s index on a single page on the internet – my weblog. This ‘coincidental’collection of links could in no way reveal Belle’s identity. But I wondered if anybody else knew the secret and felt that analysing my web traffic might confirm my long-held belief. If someone googled ‘Belle de Jour’ ‘Brooke Magnanti’, I would see it in my referrers for LinkMachineGo.
“I waited five years for somebody to hit that page (I’m patient). Two weeks ago I started getting a couple of search requests a day from an IP address at Associated Newspapers (who publish the Daily Mail) searching for ‘brooke magnanti’ and realised that Belle’s pseudonymity might be coming to an end. I contacted Belle via Twitter and let her know what was happening. I didn’t expect to hear anything back.”
Belle confirms: “FWIW Darren *did* contact me to let me know, I’d already had another heads-up but his message convinced me it was serious.”