By now a lot of what we consider the world-wide-web’s most popular destinations combine into one big social club, with a good number of trendmakers and pundits whose opinions represent the general consensus. Occasionally we disagree with them or vehemently agree, but woe to us who go against the grain.
That said, I find myself agreeing with two positions that the opinion captains are steering around.
The first is the idea that the April Fool’s Day Web Prank is perhaps rife for “you’re doing it wrong” type mishap. People do tend to see what others are doing and implement, clumsily, the same general ideas, so we have an awful lot of upside-down logos, “special announcements” that something completely crazy has happened, or statements of changes or terrifying outcomes that are not, ultimately, true. Even more important than the natural distaste for shallow copycatting of the “I am being hilarious” prank is that the natural of information duplication now means that insane statements done in the name of April Fool Comedy are joining streams of information far away from the original sources, leading to problematic and needless confusion, and not of the “oh you sure got me” variety. If the hilarity to mishap/blandness ratio is high, then I’m all for it, but I can’t help but feel we’re getting heavily toward 1:1 as the years go on and we celebrate our little web holidays.
The second position is a proposal: instead of utilizing April 1st as a day for hilarious non-hilarity, instead use it to announce site-changing or vision-changing creations. Whereas you would normally provide people with a claim that you were moving to China to work in a gold farming boiler room, instead announce that you’re engaged. Instead of claiming to be able to send your pets into space, announce a program you’ve been tinkering with for months that nobody would believe could actually be that cool and exist.
In other words, turn April Fool’s Day into Surprise Announcement Day.
April’s a nice month, far away from the end of year holidays, not quite to the summer’s dullness and warmth, rife with opportunity to brighten the growing days with something really amazing that you did. You tinker and slave away in darkness, and then spring onto the world your showpiece, something that makes all work stop and days of playtime commence as your newest fans explore the gift you’ve given them.
I am a tiny, wavering light in the wilderness of opinion, and my idea is not original, but I can certainly hope it might catch on for 2009.
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