April Fools 2007

From the start of April 1, 2007 to until noon April 1, 2007 I replaced the main page of Albino Blacksheep with a Google interface called Google Animation. It also included a blog with the follow article:

Albino Blacksheep has been acquired by Google Inc. for roughly $32 million in stock options. The deal was discussed over a casual breakfast in Mountain View, California between the Canadian-born founder of Albino Blacksheep and the Google co-founders and CEO. Plans are underway for Google Inc. to tie its services and software into the former Albino Blacksheep website which will go by the new name Google Animation.

This was meant to be an obvious parody of Google's many acquisitions as predicted in Epic 2015. Unfortunately it scared a lot of people. I didn't even bother to make the parody realistic or mask any URLs, and I made sure the date, April 1, 2007 was in clear sight.

I posted a comments area too, and some people had doubt. They saw it was April 1st. They saw other people's comments saying it was an April Fool's prank, but how could anyone believe this? This isn't even the first Google-related prank.[1] They know something I have decided to keep to myself.

On March 30-31, 2007 ABS Forums were discussing how much sites were worth based on some scripts that calculate search engine rankings, keywords, backlinks and more to come up with a price. ABS was worth millions according to these calculations and some members laughed. I chime in now. I have had offers for this website, which is probably what made the prank realistic. Having an artistic community and original submissions always coming through is not something that can be manufactered overnight by some startup. I have always answered, "not for sale" to venture capitalists. Really, what they see in this site is priceless because it cannot be duplicated without the community behind it. This explains the Web 2.0 boom. Social communities are sacred. Potential buyers also all ask that the site altered, and this has been the main reason I never sold ABS. One even demanded that the site have a red background because, "all the other sites on the network must look like part of the same thing."

I'm getting older and turning down millions of dollars so I can "run a web site" is bugging a lot of people. They think I'm crazy. Am I being irresponsible? I could help out my family and live much easier. Now, finally, the repercussions of such a "sell-out" aren't just speculation anymore. Millions of people visit this site, and millions would be angry if it were to change according to the comments, forum posts and emails. People have found a home at ABS and take it seriously. As a friend of mine put it to me on the phone this morning, "man, you have some hard-core fans!"

I have an even higher appreciation of my visitors today. They shouted their love for ABS and I am grateful to have founded something so well-loved.

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