April Fools Etiquette – recycling used loo paper and more

April Fool!

April Fool!

It’s gone noon now, so April fools’ is officially over. It’s been serious fun designing one for MSE, and as so many follow the info here, being careful not to risk misleading anyone…

Loo-paper recycling…

To think of an idea originally, in a mini- brain storm, I asked if anyone could think of a new form of recycling – we’ve seen mobile recycling become popular and the noxious adverts for selling gold too. Our lawyer Eileen came up with loo-paper recycling.

As I’ve obviously slightly scatalogical humour, I loved it and started to quickly run away with an idea of setting up www.loo4cash.com, a used loo paper comparison site.

This would then have been communicated and linked to from a news story about how it’d been set up as highly expensive Japanese premium fruit grew best with dairy fed human fertiliser, and as Japanese people eat very few milk products, this company was willing to pay a fortune to export it from the UK.

Sadly we then worked out that the time it would take to build the site and make it look real was a little bit too much – so we put the loo paper on ice – so to speak.

Have you got one? Me too!

Have you got one? Me too!

The Downturn 50p

In the end, for those who didn’t spot it,take a look at the Have you got a downturn 50p said to be worth £1,000? news story.

This was a much easier one to do once I had the idea and was a real giggle to do – my favourite part is that the ‘downturn 50p’ image is real as the Queen does have a slight downturn at her lips so anyone checking would see they had one of these coins.

Yet as we’re MSE I needed be mindful that no one who believed it was misled, (especially as the is your 20p worth £50 past story is real) that’s the reason my ‘expert’ Finlay Olbertson of Olbertson Lane said,

“As more are withdrawn from circulation the value is expected to increase over time and they could one day be worth £1,000 each. So if you get one, my best advice is to put it away somewhere safe for now then take it to a dealer in a few years time.”

Leaving the worst outcome that someone puts a few 50ps in their drawer. Plus the story pushed people to the forum where I was sure it’d be busted straight away (and it was).

You may think this over-sensitive, yet amongst the scores saying who found it funny, some admitting they checked purses first, was this comment on my facebook page

“Anyone else thinking mse doing an april fool is kinda cruel? lots of ppl are desperate and might believe it.”

Admittedly it assumes many MSE users are desperate, which is actually far from the truth (while of course we have users in financial crisis that we try to help, actually more users are savers than debtors). Still I’m glad if you look at it the possible worst case scenario is very limited.

What’s the post-April Fool etiquette?

The one question remaining is what do you do with a web April Fool once it’s over…

In the newspaper it just becomes chip paper by the next day, but the web is an eternal archive.

I did consider taking it down, but that seems a shame as lots of people enjoyed it – so in the end I decided that at midday right at the top of the article we’d add

“IMPORTANT NOTE: This article was published on the morning of 1 April 2010.”

That I hope will leave people in no doubt.

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