Over the years there have been many great April the first jokes played by the media. In the 1960s the BBC ran what is considered by many to be the ultimate April Fool's hoax: one of their news programs ran a segment about the Italian spaghetti harvest, and included footage of trees covered with ‘growing’ pasta. Their phones rang off the hook, everyone wanted to know where they could buy spaghetti trees, and whether spaghetti trees would flourish in England with its cooler and wetter climate.
This year the April fool's prize must go to our friends at Google.
If you are a Gmail user and log on today, you will be greeted with a screen explaining their new Gmail offering, Gmail on paper! They explain that not everyone likes email, sometimes paper is just better than reading your email on the screen. They have included a new button ‘Paper Archive’, and if you press this button Google will print off your email and send it to you within 2-4 working days. Of course, the price is right, it costs nothing, and they take pains to rationalize the cost effectiveness of this idea. They are able to provide this service at no cost through advertising that is printed in red ‘Helvetica’ font style on the back of the email message.
I love a good spoof, and this has to be the best one this year. I am willing to bet that there are a huge number of Gmail users wondering why they can not see this new ‘Button’ on their screen. It is probably good for Google that they do not offer a 1-800 number and tech support!