Monday, April 01, 2013
Google is carrying on a tradition of April Fools jokes. Throughout the tech industry, one used to find one elaborate scenario after another on this day. One measure of the humor was how many people actually believed them and complained when they couldn't get a new product or service. Of course, they were angry when the joke was explained to them, and they would complain. One might conclude that this is poor PR, but on the other hand, a person who is taken in by April Fools humor is probably not one's customer anyway. Such practical joking is sophomoric but it also humanizes a company. Real people have gone to some length to pull off the deception. One can appreciate the genius at the same time laugh along with them. Where a company needs to be careful is when jokes verge on cruelty. That is not acceptable, but everyone's definition of "no harm" is not the same. There will be some people who think Google's "smell-o-search" is beyond a pale, but the rest of us can chuckle.