It’s April 2nd so I’m sure most of you are suffering from post April Fools hangovers!! One of the biggest jokes played on internet sites this year was the ‘RickRoll’. The RickRoll is a joke where the website starts a script which plays Rick Astley’s cheesy 1987 classic ‘Never Gonna Give You Up‘ over and over again. The video jumps around a bit so you can’t close it and the visitor is left with over a dozen windows to close. If this happened to you then you got RickRolled!
I read about the RickRoll a few days ago (it even made the newspapers in the UK) and I even watched John Chow’s ‘How to get out of a Rick Roll‘ video before I got ‘RickRolled’ myself. Yes I’m a sucker!!! 😉
The site which rickrolled me was UberAffiliate and he achieved this with his post ‘John Chow Posts His Affiliate Earnings?‘ (don’t click on the links in that post if you don’t want to get rickrolled!). He wrote the post on April 1st so straight away I was ready for a joke however he worded it in such a way that my half asleep brain fell for it and I got RickRolled. I had to put my hands up right away and admit he got me good with it and since I hadn’t been suckered into this gag before I actually thought it was kind of funny (maybe because I had already watched John Chow’s video showing me how to disable it easily).
Many readers were less than happy though. Some readers said that they lost a lot of work because of it whilst others thought it was hilarious. One comment from someone named Dick W. Ad said that
The reason this isn’t cool, Sup3r, is because you’re fucking with your own readers. Also because we all have been rickrolled several times already on other sites…so by this time, it’s not funny, not interesting, not new.
I thought this was an interesting point. I wasn’t that annoyed because it was the first time I had the joke played on me however I’m sure if it happened to me several times and it made me close my browser and lose a lot of work I’d be pretty pissed off.
This raises an interesting question, Should you play jokes on your readers? . I think that jokes are fine (particularly on April Fools Day) if they don’t annoy the visitor in any way so a better question would be ‘At what point does a joke stop being funny and start being annoying?‘.
Having read the comments in UberAffiliate’s post it’s clear that this is something which people have a difference of opinion on. Do you think your blog’s regular readers would be annoyed if you played a practical joke on them?