I’ve decided not to post an April Fool on my website this year. That’s not because of a lack of imagination (well, OK, it’s partly that too) but rather that I realised the internet covers all of the different timezones, so it would always be the wrong day for the joke somewhere in the world.
I occasionally post on a forum called SkyscraperCity, and yesterday I noticed the posts were full of words replaced with strings of asterisks. The site appears to use a filter to remove obscene language, yet the words that had been removed included “city”, “street” and “tower”, all words that are used frequently on a site about architecture and high-rise buildings. I wondered whether hackers could have accessed the list of swear words, but soon found a reference to 1 April elsewhere on the forum. So I fell for the joke – or did I? It was only 31 March, and surely tradition dictates that the person playing the trick on the wrong day is the fool?
So I’m not going to include an April Fool of my own this year. Maybe next year I’ll relent, and post one with a disclaimer about the different timezones. In fact, you can now find out what I will post next year using a new search engine that I found recently, which shows you how websites will look in a year’s time – effectively the reverse of the popular Wayback Machine, which shows how websites looked in times gone by. Why not give it a try?
If any readers found any good April Fools this year, online or anywhere else, please leave a comment to tell me about them!