Well this isn’t quite bulletproof, but it is good sleuthing.
via Boing Boing, Alex Boese of the Museum of Hoaxes may have solved the Rance mystery.
I think Rance is a cartoonist/filmmaker/screenwriter named Keith Thomson. Here’s my reasoning. What immediately struck me about Rance’s weblog was that it attracted a very high number of comments from very early on. Within two hours after Rance posted his first entry on December 29, 2003, four people had left comments on his site. Most weblogs, by contrast, struggle to get anyone to read them, let alone leave comments. So how was he attracting so many visitors to his site straight off the bat? What I discovered was that immediately after Rance posted his first entry on Dec. 29 at 4:49 EST, someone going by the screen name ‘InvaderFromPluto’ began posting messages about his weblog on various fan discussion groups. For instance, at 5:52, about one hour after Rance had posted his first entry, a message from InvaderFromPluto appears on Yahoo’s thematthewperryplace message board. It reads: “i read slate reported a famous tv actor keeping a weblog under pseudonym ‘rance’ at http://captainhoof.tripod.com/blog/ it’s hard to know if it is him, but it might be as it is funny and seems witty in his sort of way”
Obviously Slate hadn’t written anything about Rance’s weblog. Rance’s weblog, at that time, was only an hour old. So how did InvaderFromPluto know about Rance’s weblog so quickly, and why was he so interested in promoting it? Perhaps InvaderFromPluto was Rance himself. Makes sense to me.
Personally I’m not convinced it is him, but he may be in on the rouse.
My own post’s on the subject has a healthy comment area where someone named moonlitsun is sure its ‘ryan ebner’