Plausible isn’t necessarily believable

I’ve been reading quite a few of the April Fool’s Day jokes doing the rounds today.

Some excellent imagination with stories that are so convincing, it’s hard to separate fact from fantasy.

Google’s free in-home wireless broadband service, for instance. Highly plausible on a first look but you quickly see the joke when you read the installation instructions.

Staying with Google, how about Google Writer, a tool that will automate your blog writing and posting. Or Gmail Paper, where you can request a hard copy of any email in your Gmail account and Google will deliver paper printouts to you in 2-4 days. So plausible!

Then there’s Robert Scoble’s report on a new tablet device from Apple for reading documents, sort of a Sony Reader on steroids. Robert tells a compellingly-plausible tale.

The one that’s had me really wondering, though, is the announcement yesterday that TechCrunch is merging with FuckedCompany.com.

I fondly remember FC during the late 90s as the place to frequently check in order to see whether the dot-com company you were working for at the time would still be in business later the same day, never mind tomorrow. Plus keeping a close eye on sister site InternalMemos.com for juicy leaks.

So why would TechCrunch – the credible source of information on tech startups – merge with FC, the (in)credible source of information about tech startup failures? As TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington explains:

[...] By acquiring FC, we can go more negative faster than anyone else out there, when and if we need to. With the combination of these two companies, we can now effectively cover a startup from the idea stage, through the hype and funding stage, and then cover its inevitable bankruptcy and liquidation as well.

This, too, sounds pretty plausible. Yet I can’t actually believe it. I just can’t see TechCrunch changing overnight, so to speak, into a place that only reports on negatives.

So, I don’t believe it!

See also – The art of fooling around, the story of perhaps the most plausible April Fool’s spoof in the past 50 years.