Ah, it’s April Fool’s Day and the pranks and jokes are flying in offices all around the world and especially on the Interwebs. Hey, I’m a Fan of fun and a decent practical joke, but having a specific day unofficially sanctioned for these activities means that it’s not safe to go on the internet, step out of your house or speak to any of your friends.
Of course I may be jaded a bit after a good (or was it bad) trick that was played on me (and quite a few others) a couple of years ago. I had just caved in and finally joined Twitter (on March 26, 2008 to be exact) after reading this post from Jim Stroud indicating there were only 85 recruiters were using it. A few days later, on April 1st, I started my day as usual and noticed a tweet from Scott Allen, mentioning a post on his Linked Intelligence blog with a big announcement from LinkedIn – that they were eliminating their free service as of May 1, 2008.
Immediately after reading the post, I spun into a tizzy. How could they do this? I’d been using the free version of LinkedIn for a couple of years and had also spent a considerable amount of time teaching and encouraging other professionals – especially job seekers – to sign up and get involved. I knew that many of these people wouldn’t be willing to pay for the service and as a result, its usefulness would soon be gone.
I sent Scott a couple of tweets asking how this could happen. No response. I searched the internet for the “official LinkedIn announcement” that was referenced in the post. Nothing. I Googled, went to LinkedIn related Forums and scoured the LinkedIn site and blog. After losing far too much time and productivity, I went back to Scott’s post (which has since been removed – bad for LinkedIn SEO I guess) to see if I could find more information there. As I scrolled down to the bottom just above the comments, in very tiny font, I saw this:
I was mad. And frustrated. I’d lost a lot of time and productivity (my fault – not Scott’s) by following this April Fool’s boondoggle. But after I thought about it a bit, I was thankful. It was a great wake up call to remind myself that I must be sure to never depend on any one tool or any one thing that is controlled by someone else to manage my relationships and do my job.
So thanks for the Punk Scott! I deserved it – and I even learned from it.
Now if you want to see some good April Fool’s hijinks, this one is perfect. (Link to the picture referenced is here.) Couldn’t have happened to a better target guy. 🙂