have always been a fan of April fool stories. My previous job included
producing a daily press cuttings service for my organisation, and I
used to look forward to trying to find all the April 1 ânews storiesâ
for inclusion. One of my all time favourites was from the Daily Mirror
announcing that the Channel tunnel diggers had struck gold half-way to France.
The big âstoryâ from today has been the Guardian newspaper letting
its loyal readers know that it would shortly be giving up on old
fashioned ink and paper. Instead they would switch to Twitter for all
future news coverage. The Twitter switch for Guardian article
has some lovely touches about the benefits of reducing all news to 140
characters. Even going back intto their archives to âre-writeâ history;
Major stories already completed include:
â1832 Reform Act gives voting rights to one in five adult males yay!!!â;
âOMG Hitler invades Poland, allies declare war see tinyurl.com/b5Ă6e for moreâ;
and âJFK assassin8d @ Dallas, def. heard second gunshot from grassy knoll WTF?â
On a less amusing note I received an email today from SlideShare (a free service I blogged about in 2007).
Weâve noticed that your slideshow on SlideShare has been getting a LOT
of views in the last 24 hours. Great job âŚ you must be doing something
Why donât you tweet or blog this? Use the hashtag #bestofslideshare so we can track the conversation.
Congratulations, SlideShare Team
I checked my three presentations and sure enough one of them had
rocketed to 751 views. This was something of a surprise and perhaps I
should have been suspicious. However, it took a blog post from Phil
Bradley (Slideshare April Fool joke goes disastrously wrong), before I realised I had been conned.
As Phil points out, SlideShare have made ,âa huge errorâ;
I donât appreciate anyone manipulating data on my content. That
SlideShare are so relaxed about this, and feel they can do what they
like is really sending entirely the wrong message about how they view
users and content.
To be fair to the authors of this âprankâ have confessed their sins on Philâs blog, and apologised to their customers;
My sincere, personal apologies. Its just an April Foolâs prank. I
understand why you are upset, however, we did not mean to offend our
users who we love. But I can see your perspective.
Rashmi, CEO & Cofounder, SlideShare
I think I can forgive them this time, but fear many of their customers may move to rival services as a result.