Thursday, April 03, 2008

With April Fools Day just a few days past, I thought I'd point out some of the awesome April Fools pranks I experienced. Okay, so it was really only two pranks and they both involved the Internet giant Google, but you're going to hear about them anyway.

So I've got a little thing called Gmail Notifier running on my Windows desktop. Basically all it does is inform me of when I get an email, sort of like Outlook does, but since Gmail is Internet based, much less frequently. So Tuesday morning I was notified I had mail. I cheerfully double-clicked the taskbar icon to bring me directly into my inbox. I don't even recall who emailed me, but what I did notice was a new red-linked feature of Gmail. It was labeled, "NEW! Custom Time Changer!" Or something like that. I clicked the link and started to read about how Gmail could now let you change the time of the email sent on past emails in recipient's inboxes. That's quite the feature, even with Google's e-flux capacitor. Numerous testimonials followed claiming no more tardiness and first-come-first-serve turn-around victories that had already ended. I had to smile and chuckle upon reading these as it was at that moment that I realized Google spent some time on something so little, yet so customer satisfying.

Later that day I went in to check my GCal (Google Calendar) and once again I was greeted by a little red-linked message at the top right of my page that read, "NEW! Wake Up Notifier!" or something like that. This time slightly wiser I clicked the link and was entertained by what read to be GCals latest feature: the ability to get your tired a** out of bed! Your first alarm would be a text, followed by more annoying phone calls, and if it came to it, water in your face and industrial molten steel spills on your bed. That ought to get you moving in the morning! And all this via a simple Internet Calendar.

Look, Google makes great products, no doubt. But sometimes it's the little things that can really sell something. Maybe it's the service, or an extreme attention to detail. Sometimes however, it can just be something as simple as making you smile. And if companies can satisfy me by making me smile, just think how I feel about the people in my life that make me smile . . .

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