Gmail: Elaborate Fraud, Or…

Google announced GMail late yesterday, and the media, Wired News and CNet and the New York Times, bought it. So did The Register, which said that the company is using April Fools to launch the service for real. The Times' John Markoff – no slouch he – wrote up the…

gmail_logoGoogle announced GMail late yesterday, and the media, Wired News and CNet and the New York Times, bought it. So did The Register, which said that the company is using April Fools to launch the service for real. The Times’ John Markoff – no slouch he – wrote up the story totally straight citing unnamed sources “familiar with the service.” AP and Reuters moved wire stories….

But one can seriously debate whether this is a joke, folks (this is, of course, as is this Google job posting). Sure, there may be seeds of truth, like the patent application the company filed to serve email ads, or the fact that such a service makes a lot of sense for Google, and has been widely rumored. Or even the one gigabyte storage approach – never have to delete an email again – (sounds like Mirror Worlds…).Slashdotters are having a field day debating this one…turning up the fact that Gmail.com is registered to Google, for example…(this has been known for a while…)

But this has got to be an April Fool’s Joke. A very believable one, one that in the long run may come true, but a joke. Note an employee’s posting on his blog, under the subject “haha” and noting “I love this time of year.” And the release itself is simply too sophomoric to be anything but a joke. If indeed this is an elaborate ruse (including fake quotes and interviews from Wayne Rosing) I imagine the press will be most unhappy with the folks at the Googleplex. Journalists these days tend to have no sense of humor when it comes to their own gullibility. Unless, of course, they were all in on it…which has its own set of issues. Fun, no matter how you slice it…

UDPATE: OK, maybe this *is* for real, because Danny Sullivan of SEW is playing it straight. If it *is*, then…what’s with all the hat tips toward April Fools? Ahhhh, who knows.

21 thoughts on “Gmail: Elaborate Fraud, Or…”

  1. Thanks for pulling the story together, John. It’s pretty depressing, and I can only imagine what people at Google are going through this morning, but… maybe it’s for the best, as more people really realize the pack mentality in the big-budget “news” channels these days…. πŸ™

  2. Well, count me a sucker, too then! I just blogged this last night, and–swear to God–thought it might be an April Fool’s joke. Then I reasoned (hah!) that I was reading the stories on March 31st, so it wasn’t a joke. Never saw the press release itself.

  3. Ha! Just as I was reading this, and also reading the SF Chronicle piece on it in this morning’s paper, I also heard a short report on KQED about it! But when you read the press release, it’s clear it’s a joke. “Heck, yeah?”

  4. There are some strange inconsistencies. For instance gmail.co.uk is owned by someone else, and other countries have nothing registered. gmail.com’s nameserver is also not google’s, although they’ve changed all the other info to point to google.

    Check out gmail.net also.

  5. I’m not getting those nameservers at all, in SBC’s DNS. I get ns[1-5].alldomains.com. Perhaps the old info is sticking around, but I’ve gotten the changes to the MX records.

  6. Hey John – your trusty Mac tech from the TIS days here…Gmail will be running on XServe G5s, apparently. Are you still a Mac advocate?

  7. If Gmail is an April fool’s day special by google, this is probably the biggest prank ever pulled off by an organization in the whole world! Anyway, lets just hope its true (‘cos the idea of having 1 gig of storage seems 2 good!)

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