April Fools Day Recap
In recent years, the web community has embraced April Fools Day as a chance to dupe unsuspecting surfers (and bloggers). Being a tad gullible, it’s a day I fear like no other. Luckily, I was only fooled once this year (thanks, Michael) and did not fall for (and write about) any of the jokes floating around the internet today. Did you? Here are some of this year’s gags:
(Note: sorry if I’m a spoiler, but the day is over, and so are the jokes….)As Dave reported earlier, Google and Virgin Group announced the launch of Virgle Inc., a jointly owned and operated venture dedicated to the establishment of a human settlement on Mars. Today’s Thrillist featured Punch in the Face, a “performance piece turned alarming side-project” that features a squad of “urban-agitator bike messengers” who you can hire to punch someone (in the face). “If Punch finds your job worthy, challenging, and up to their peculiar sense of fair play, they’ll set up a brief phone consultation (gleaning target’s name/place of business/daily routine, etc), then stalk your quarry, place them in a headlock, and deliver exactly one shot to the face (if you want two punches delivered, you clearly have anger issues).” They even went so far as to create a website and a MySpace page. Well done. Blip.tv offered a new advertising option: the Rick Roll. “To accompany your post-rolls, pre-rolls, and overlays, we’re adding the rick-roll. All blip.tv users can opt-in to the rick-roll by visiting their advertising dashboard, hitting the “Custom Blend” radio option, and finding Rick Roll at the bottom of the page. At a $0 CPM, you may not generate any revenue, but the rick-roll is never going to give you up, or let you down.” (To learn more about a Rick Roll, click the link in the first paragraph of this post.) I fell for Hypemachine’s announcement last year (something about data mining, I’ve since repressed it), so I did not for one second buy (or subscribe to) their new print magazine Hype Machine Monthly, covering “the hottest new artists that draws upon the power of the Internet!” It all could look kosher until the part where they “look forward to bringing you…sponsored artist placements highlighting the best of upcoming new artists.” That and the “subscribe” button linked to their RSS feed. The Times of London wrote about Sniff, a new LBS app for Facebook that uses cell tower triangulation to track the location of your friends (and potentially your husband, slacking employees, etc). Both techcrunch and MocoNews picked it up as a serious item, but was it a joke or not? There are lots of similar services out there, so this one is debatable.
So what did we leave out? And did you fall for it? (Sucka.)