It’s always great to see the rich and powerful having fun. The search equivalent of the Kardashians is Google on April Fools’ Day. Once again, Google honored us with some reasonably funny and clever April Fools’ frivolity. This year they tried harder than most with half a dozen japes. I liked the 8-bit version of Google Maps suitable for early Nintendo and the Chrome browser feature with dozens of mouse pointers for multitasking. The one that made me actually smile was the Really Advanced Search feature that allows you to search for a range of bizarre and exotic search terms including “rhyming slang” terms. The fact that somebody in the mother ship thought to include Cockney Rhyming Slang (an obscure, mostly dead patois native to my beloved London home) as and option is genuinely funny. It would have been even funnier if they had taken the ten extra minutes needed to index a list of actual rhyming slang terms and make the search work. I guess that search is staying in ‘beta’ mode.
In the social media world the award for best April Fools’ prank (and another perfect example of a lie running around the world before the truth has got its boots on) goes to the kerfuffle caused by a blogger on Forbes.com releasing an obvious hoax story that Romney was dropping out of the Republican primary race in favor of Santorum. It was a funny piece and an obvious hoax, yet in the 40 minutes it took for the site to pull the story it blew up Twitter and even made the front of Google News. It proves once again that, especially in a social media enabled world, the truth shouldn’t be allowed to get in the way of a good story.