tl;dr — no April Fools Day prank this year, and I don't think we are doing one anymore at OzBargain.
Hi all. This is that April 1st announcement that some of you guys have been waiting for, but sorry it might be disappointing. Historically OzBargain has done April Fools Day pranks over the years (here's the 2019 one), but last year due to COVID-19 we did not end up running one. We were not the only one that cancelled April Fools Day pranks last year though — Google, NPR and National Geographic etc all decided not to participate.
Fast forward a few months, and I had started planning AFD 2021 near the end of last year. There were a few plans and I have thought through some of the ideas.
OzTrafficAdvice with MS Paint integration, which I was going to use a self-hosted jspaint.app (an open source MS Paint implementation on the web). This one is obvious from the number of traffic accident advice requests in the forums, and the number of times people asking for MSPaint diagrams.
OzBargain BBS where you telnet into port 23 of a server to get a terminal version of OzBargain where you can list deals and view comments! It's reminiscent of the late 80's / early 90's dialup BBS, and a cool work mode for those on the command line often.
Retailer Among Us, an Among Us-like game where "evil retailer" has sent in 10 imposters among the OzBargain members, and they have stolen the code to moderation tools, where they can now put regular users into penalty box (by adding an extra option when replying someone's comment). Other OzBargainers have to examine the crime scene, figure out who the imposters are, and boot them out.
Deals Media Bargaining Code, where OzBargain can no longer link to deals due to this new law as the Australian retailers complain about OzBargain stealing their content. Yes it's a response to the stories where Google and Facebook may abandon Australia due to similar legislation.
However I ran out of time, and gave up doing the April Fools Day prank altogether this year.
I got to admit that some of them would be fun to implement, but overall adds very little to the general usage of the website. For example I have worked out the scenario and mechanism for the Among Us-like game, and it would cost me probably 2 weeks to implement — but I don't think it's even worth it for the 3 hour fun on the April Fools day, not to mention having to handle angry users complaining about the getting banned by the "imposters". Deals Media Bargaining Code? I don't want to give wrong ideas to the retailers lest they actually come to us demanding payments, seeing how "successful" the federal government and news outlets are, exhorting money from the big tech.
Yeah, I figured that I grew old and felt meh about doing April Fools Day pranks. So that's it. No April Fools Day pranks this year, and I might not be investing more into future ones either.
On a not so related note, we are not doing the treasure hunt this Easter Weekend either. Like last year it would be rescheduled to sometime in June. I would like to giveaway some latest-gen game consoles, the latest OzBargain T-shirt (from last year's winning design), gift cards and other gadgets. Hopefully the availability of game consoles will improve by June. I am also looking at doing some hoodies with OzBargain logo to be ready for winter — you might even win one from the treasure hunt (finger crossed).