April 1st. You know what that means: You can’t trust the news. Not online, and not in print. Everyone and his mother tries to trick you into believing some preposterous story. All in good fun.
It’s also utter nonsense.
I’ve pulled a few April Fools pranks myself, on both a personal level, and as a publisher. Some was so good that they reached trade magazines, reported as real news. That was a lot of fun, especially since anyone buying it would, in one particular case, visit a website which clearly showed what kind of a joke it was.
Meanwhile, I dread the news on April 1st, and the days that follows. What if I’m reporting something that really is an April Fools gag? And what if one of my sources, in the days to come, has fallen for a local prank, and it turns international without any real way of following up on it?
I’ve gone from a person who liked April Fools and the fact that I could mess with my readers’ heads without alienating (too many of) them, to someone who thinks that serious publications should stick to what they know and leave comedy to comics.
What’s your take on April Fools? Do share.
Thord Daniel Hedengren is a designer, writer, and blogger, and also the former editor of The Blog Herald. He used to be a hotshot in the gaming industry in Sweden, but sold everything and went International. Most recently he wrote a book called Smashing WordPress: Beyond the Blog, and does loads of kickass design.