Hate to get all serious on you on one of my favorite holidays, April Fool’s Day, but ReadWriteWeb poses a good question today: Netflix for the iPad: April Fools Joke or Breaking Story? It’s a riff on “it’s not fair, hey we can’t figure this out.” Writer Mike Melanson makes the point that it’s this kind of story which further lowers the credibility of online media. And I do agree, the line seems a little blurry. Could it be true?? We want it to be true, right?! And of course the timing is particularly odd – or good, depending on how you look at it – as the iPad is due to hit stores in two days. So no one can truly confirm or deny at this point. Except maybe Walt Mossberg and David Pogue.
The NetFlix announcement brings to mind one of the slides from Lee Rainie‘s presentation last night on Pew Internet’s Future of the Internet study. [Full slide deck here.] Pew polled 895 Internet “experts” on how the Internet will affect the future of business and government, as well as about issues such as privacy and anonymity. One question referred to Nicholas Carr’s 2008 article for The Atlantic: is Google making us smarter or stupider? Response: 81% said Google was not making us stupid.
The real April Fool’s joke is what you can’t even imagine doing with your iPad or other i-thingamajiggy.
But the slide I found most intriguing, and that relates to the Netflix announcement – or non-announcement – was this one: have we already anticipated the hot new gadgets and apps that will be available ten years from now, in 2020. Or will the new new things be stuff we haven’t even thought of yet. Will they come “out of the blue”?
The answer from the experts surveyed: out of the blue. I think that is cool. And it’s why the Netflix story – or non-story – doesn’t really concern me. It’s so almost believable that it doesn’t really matter. If Netflix movies aren’t streaming to your iPad when you pick one up on Saturday, so be it. They probably will be soon. It’s what you can’t even imagine doing with your iPad – or your i- or e- thingamajig – that’s the real joke on us, right?!
While we’re on the topic of April Fool’s jokes, my favorite one this year is that Google renamed itself Topeka. Oh and did you hear that Bill Gates phoned me and left a voicemail asking me to be his CEO blog and twitter coach? Giggle. If you just can’t get enough of this stuff, here’s TechCrunch’s list of April Fools 2010.
P.S. Did you hear about the bumper spaghetti harvest in southern Switzerland??