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Nicholas M. Ciarelli (born September 5, 1986)[1] is an American journalist and was Editor-In-Chief of Think Secret, a website he started in 1999 at the age of thirteen and ceased publishing on December 20, 2007 after reaching a settlement with Apple.[2] Prior to January 2005, although his identity was widely known within the Mac journalism world, Ciarelli was known publicly only by the pen name "Nick dePlume" (a pun on "Nom de Plume", a French term meaning "pen name") that he used on his website.[3] When news spread that Apple Computer had filed a lawsuit against Think Secret, followers of the Mac rumors community began to wonder who 'dePlume' actually was. On January 10, 2005, the night before the Macworld Conference & Expo, a blogger posted an article revealing dePlume as an undergraduate at Harvard University, where he was a reporter for The Harvard Crimson.[4] Two days later, The Harvard Crimson covered the story of Nick Ciarelli, one of the paper's own news editors.[5]

The Wall Street Journal has called Think Secret "one of the most influential Web sites" about Apple.[6] Ciarelli's ongoing legal battle with Apple has been covered by The New York Times,[7] The Washington Post,[3] The Boston Globe,[8] and the Associated Press,[9] among other news outlets.

Ciarelli grew up and attended public school in Cazenovia, NY, where he excelled in academics, achieving salutatorian upon graduation. Ciarelli was an active participant in the stage crew for the high school musical, and could often be found in the A/V room broadcasting on the school's closed-circuit television network.[6] Although he had a successful reporting and consulting business by the tenth grade, very few people at school knew anything about his online alter ego. Those who did were mostly teachers.[citation needed]

Ronald Lutheran, Ciarelli's high school math teacher and a longtime family friend, called his former student an "extraordinary kid with a very good sense of humor." He said the boy was an avid reader by age 5, an accomplished pianist and a keen Mac fan.[10][full citation needed]

Ciarelli was a contributor[11] to The Daily Beast, the current affairs magazine site launched by former Vanity Fair editor Tina Brown.

In 2012, Ciarelli and Josh Schanker co-founded BookBub, an ebook discovery service for readers. BookBub is headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts[12]


  1. ^ U.S. Public Records Index Vol 2 (Provo, UT: Operations, Inc.), 2010.
  2. ^ Apple Kills Think Secret: Publisher Nick Ciarelli Talks. December 2007
  3. ^ a b Teen Web Editor Drives Apple to Court Action!. January 13, 2005
  4. ^ Archived April 11, 2005, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Tartakoff, Joseph M. (January 12, 2005). "Apple Sues Student". The Harvard Crimson. Harvard University. Retrieved March 14, 2015.
  6. ^ a b Vara, Vauhini (January 14, 2005). "Apple Sues Web Site Run by 19-Year-Old For Revealing Secrets". The Wall Street Journal.
  7. ^ Markoff, John (March 21, 2005). "To Cut Online Chatter, Apple Goes to Court". The New York Times.
  8. ^ Teen reporter pays price for Apple coverage The Boston Globe. March 14, 2005
  9. ^ Teen sued by Apple gains legal help. February 19, 2005
  10. ^ Syracuse Post-Standard, January 15, 2005
  11. ^ Ex-Vanity Fair Editor Unleashes Internet Beast Marketing Vox, October 2008
  12. ^ BookBub Closing In on Two Million Members Publishers Weekly, November 2013

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