3. Fictitious features leaked. The next wave of bloggers provide the details the original report lacked. For example: The Facebook phone will run the Android operating system. Hey, it's a safe bet. What else would it run -- Apple's iOS? Symbian? Windows Mobile? The best part: It doesn't matter if they're wrong, because who's gonna go back and check?
4. Early photos of Facebook phone leaked. Regardless of whether the phone exists beyond the fevered imagination of some anonymous source, somebody somewhere will dig up pictures of the alleged handset -- or, even better, claim to have obtained one from a shadowy source.
(For example: eSarcasm claims to have unearthed a Facebook phone via circumstance not entirely unlike that of Engadget getting its hands on an early iPhone 4, only substitute a Palo Alto public restroom for a San Jose hofbrau. Given that the "face fone" bears more than a passing resemblance to a V-Tech Handy Manny toy cell phone, we suspect they're just having us on.)
5. Why the world needs a Facebook phone. These bloggers missed the whole "Facebook is building a phone" rush because it happened on a weekend while they were off having a life, so they're trying to make up for it with an analytical story that discusses the many reasons why a Facebook phone would make sense.
6. Why the world doesn't need a Facebook phone. These guys saw the last run of analytical pieces and wanted to jump in the water before it got too cold. It's a weak play, but at this point it's all they got.
7. Facebook issues denials. Facebook's PR department finally checks its Google alerts and sees storm clouds rising over the blogosphere, then issues a bland but comprehensive denial that it emails to major news outlets and gradually seeds across the Net, inciting another round of posts.