Ahh, another April Fools' Day. It's the day when people who are prone to losing track of what day it is generally experience an "oh, crap" moment at some point. (You know who you are. You were running an hour late on March 9.) It's also a day where there are plenty of email and email-related jokes to go around.
The first one I encountered today is my favorite so far. I went to log into Gmail this morning and found their announcement for Gmail Custom Time, a handy service that allows you to backdate an email that you're sending, and even have it appear as having been opened already. Forget your sister's birthday. No problem. Needed an extra day to complete that essay for class. No problem. Just backdate those emails and you're golden. In their explanation, Gmail shares some testimonials that suggest other novel ways to use Custom Time.
While the faux service is hilarious (I kept thinking, "Boy, would the Bush administration have fun with this"), it made me reflect on how much we rely on email to confirm the chronology of past events and to verify that we were or were not notified of a particular event. The reliance and faith we put in email took another step forward last month when Goodmail debuted a new service proving legal proof of delivery for emails—and that's in addition to the adoption of email authentication reaching the tipping point in January. So barring the introduction of a Custom Time service like Gmail's, email is on a good trajectory toward being an even more trust medium.
Here are some other April Fools emails and email-related gags that we've seen:
–>E-Dialog sent this email, which linked to this "correct" version.
–>Salon's Farhad Manjoo launched I Google for You. Just type in your search and he'll email you that one link that you're really looking for. See the results from us searching for "email marketing association."
–>CafePress sent this email announcing the launch of their new dating service, CafePress LoveMatch.
–>eROI announced that they abandoned their new offices in favor of solar-powered yurts along the Willamette River.
–>Mark Brownlow at Email Marketing Reports breaks the news that Bluegill Mail has launched a "report subscriber" button.
If you know of others, let us know and we'll add them to the list. Thanks and happy April Fools' Day.
—Chad White of the eec (who is celebrating his 2nd wedding anniversary today—no, really)