With April 2013 rapidly passing by it already feels like April Fools’ Day was an age ago. Perhaps this is because the pranks pulled by tech companies were so lame that none are memorable enough to stick with us for more than a few days. Or perhaps I’m an aging misanthrope who needs to let his hair down once in a while. It’s possible. I guess.
Real-world April Fools’ Day pranks seem to be lessening in popularity these days, but the Internet is awash with them each and every April 1. I’m personally not a fan, but we wanted to know what you, the loyal and (often lovely) MakeUseOf readership think of April Fools’ Day. Hence the discussion we enjoyed for last week’s We Ask You column.
We asked you, Do You Love Or Hate April Fools’ Day Online? The number of responses was disappointing, but as usual I have to blame myself for the poor choice of question. I obviously didn’t think it was poor when I asked it, but you fine people have shown me the error of my ways.
Those who did answer the question gave their views on April Fools’ Day and explained why they either love it, hate it, or don’t have any strong feelings either way. Shockingly — well, it shocked me at least — the MakeUseOf readership appears to be in favor of April Fools’ Day and the pranks tech companies play on the unsuspecting public across the Web.
The split was about 60/40 in favor of April Fools’ Day, with several people maintaining neutrality by sitting on the fence and not committing to either side. I guess I myself am a fence-sitter on this particular issue. I like some of the pranks, especially the well-planned, well-executed epic pranks from Google, but the number of jokes is spiraling out of control.
Even when it comes to Google there’s a part of me that wonders how much could have been achieved with the time and energy the company and its employees put into its April Fools’ Day pranks. And then there are the lesser-known April Fools’ Day jokes, many of which fail to raise even a slight titter.
Comment Of The Week
We had great input from the likes of Abhishek Rai, Graham Richardson, and Ashwin Ramesh, to name just a few. Comment Of The Week goes to ‘G W’, who receives the respect of myself and hopefully everybody reading this:
I think the pranks are passe. What good is a prank when you can countdown to when they are going to be pulled?
What would happen to if a company, like Google, DIDN’T participate next year? I feel it would probably create a backlash.
I’m sure it helps foster some creativity for companies, but they’re now more of an expectation than anything. They’re almost like the quarterly business updates.
For us this comment hits the nail on the head in terms of why April Fools’ Day is losing its luster. When Google started pulling pranks on April 1 people were pleasantly surprised. Now, they expect it. It’s become so ingrained in Web culture that it’s virtually impossible to actually catch anyone out.
We will be asking a new question tomorrow, so please join us then. We Ask You is a weekly column dedicated to finding out the opinions of MakeUseOf readers. We ask you a question and you tell us what you think. The question is open-ended and is usually open to debate. Some questions will be purely opinion-based, while others will see you sharing tips and advice, or advocating tools and apps for your fellow MakeUseOf readers. This column is nothing without your input, all of which is valued.
Image Credit: Sean MacEntee