The beginning of this month brought another April Fools on the internet. I typically cringe at the thought. There are just too many people who think they are funny…
Now, I’m not quite as bad a sport as I once was… with MacRumors’ popularity, and an active moderator team, I finally agreed to let our moderators put together the first MacRumors April Fools page in 2006. I’ve specifically avoided defacing the front page of MacRumors as rumors sites don’t need to do anything that will further tarnish their credibility.
Our 2006 April Fools involved quietly adding a Page 3 tab to MacRumors.com. Page 3 spoofed the mac rumor scene in general, and also gave our regular readers a nod with some inside jokes. Every part of the page (comment threads, past stories) was carefully crafted. Due to the quiet launch, many likely missed the page, but the response was positive.
So in 2007, we tried again, but took two different paths.
First, we extended our previous Page 3 idea, and created a MacRumored page. This page depicts MacRumors as it might have looked sometime in late 1993. I think older Apple-fans would really enjoy this page, with relatively accurate stories of the era.
What was the most interesting is that when doing research for the stories was I found one quote from Apple’s former CEO John Sculley from 1993 that turns out to be very timely with Apple’s recent focus on consumer electronics:
I can see the day when Apple won’t be in the personal computer business. – John Sculley, 1993
Anyhow, the other aspect of the 2007 April Fools was a simple vBulletin script modification (implemented by Doctor Q and Knox) which prefixed our forum usernames with a random title such as “Unstoppable” or “Ever Present” or “Helpful” or one of many randomly assigned titles.
I wasn’t sure how it would turn out, and was worried people might find it distracting — but I was wrong. People loved it. Reaction and discussion of the username hack continued for over 220 posts across two threads (1, 2).
Anyhow, it’s too late to stop now, I guess we should start planning for 2008.
Historical note: Although the front-page April Fools jokes started in 2006, there were April Fools pranks in the MacRumors forums in earlier years. In 2003, there was a fake report that a prominent forum member was missing.
In 2004, a hacker had supposed broken into the site.
On April 1, 2005, forum members discovered that they had turned into swashbuckling pirates with user titles like Privateer, Bo’sun, and Swab. Moderators played characters from Pirates of the Caribbean, there was a treasure hunt for members, and many members used Pirate Talk all day. Yo ho ho!
Sounds like a very interesting concept! Be good to my inclusive withdrawal A JOKE! ) What did one hot dog say to another? Hi, Frank!
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