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April 01, 2004

Guerilla Joking

Doc Searls says someone from Google told him that gmail (currently noted over there in last night's blogmarks with a trailing hint of uncertainty) is no joke and asks "So, am I the only one who thought this was a joke?" No, I thought it was a joke, too.

Doc goes on to say:

Just when I think I've given all the PR advice a former PR guy who's still a journalist can give, here's one more: If you're gonna shake the Earth with an unexpected announcement, don't pick the one day out of 365 (or this year, 366) when everybody's yanking everybody else's chain, okay?

Doc's the marketing expert, but isn't there something to be said for the cognitive judo announcing something like a GB of mail storage would entail?

I think, from the perspective as someone who's never marketed a single thing but sausage logs for band trips and himself (poorly, in the form of the most boring resumés on the planet) that it makes its own sort of marketing sense.

I mean, here it is April 1st, and Google announces a free gig of mail storage, and everyone says "This has to be a joke, right?" which sort of creates its own echo chamber out in the mediasphere: Everyone's asking, everyone else is reporting on everyone asking, and Google gets to spend the next 48 hours saying "No, as UNBELIEVABLE as this FABULOUS offer is, we're really offering a GIG OF MAIL STORAGE!" And the whole time, the questions that get asked every time Google launches a new service goes unasked this time around: "Has the shark been jumped? Is Google about to wade out past chin depth?" Even Dave Winer, who has been forced into a lifetime of Google hate because of its pesky Atom love, comes off pretty muted instead of heaping on the doubt and uncertainty and, uh, fear. Perhaps because the normal hysterics this might provoke could end up looking really stupid on April 2nd if the Google guys end up saying "Just a joke, lighten up. Pshaw! A gig of mail! Good one! Nyuck nyuck nyuck."

But that's just my pet theory, or contribution to the echo chamber, or both. I stand by my right to quietly pull it down and replace it with a miscategorized ode to Mac love if Google's just lying to Reuters.

Posted by mph at April 1, 2004 12:21 PM