This month in history: A look back at our April Fools' Day joke phase - Philly


Apr. 1, 2019 1:13 pm

This month in history: A look back at our April Fools’ Day joke phase

Early in the going, we did a few fake April 1 stories. First Round Capital "invested" in ... what now?
Can’t believe you really thought Philly was moving to New York.

Can't believe you really thought Philly was moving to New York.

(Photo by Pexels, used under a CC0 Creative Commons License)

For’s 10-year anniversary, we’re diving deep into the archives for nostalgic, funny or noteworthy updates. This is part of a year-long series.

You might as well refer to April 1 as National Attention Hacking Day.

It’s the day tech companies, food chains and retail brands unite in pissing off their customers with egregious made-up products and services in a bid to get their logos in front of as many eyeballs as possible.

During its infancy, also pulled a fast one or two on readers, with the dual purpose of drawing attention on a fun day for the internet and dabbling in low-key tech scene satire that, in retrospective, was pretty spot-on.

In 2011, we got the comments section on fire for announcing to the world that Philly would be relocating to the Big Apple, rebranding as New York in a bid to get some dough from Rupert Murdoch.

Here’s a snippet from the 2011 spoof:

Fellow co-founders Brian James Kirk, Christopher Wink and [Sean] Blanda are moving today, they confirmed. April 1 will be the last day of Philadelphia content, before turning over Monday, April 4 to focus on, what Kirk calls “the important stuff: social media apps, mobile tools and gadgets made by other 20-somethings who left towns and cities for a shared experience of worshiping false idols in New York.”

The day was all about fake news (literally): On that day, also wrote about the lack of Fortune 500 companies in Port Richmond and a Series A investment First Round Capital had supposedly made into, I kid you not, cheesesteaks and Rocky references.


The following year, the gags made a comeback: A trio of stories told readers about the “Cowincuberator” — a mix of coworking space, accelerator and incubator inside a suburban Kmart SuperK — a poignant jab at the Wharton grad flight and the rogue unionization of local tech scribes to free themselves from “the oppressive regime of paternalistic publishers that plague digital community reporting here.”

Per the archives, that was the last of proper April Fools’ Day jokes from directly, though we have covered local company’s grabbing headlines thanks to the holiday. One frequent example: South Philly watchmaker Analog Watch Co., which landed itself on Gizmodo thanks to a faux timepiece made out of lunar rock. the next year, they went hard again with a made-up watch made out of cat hair.

Remember, don’t believe everything you read (today).


For the next bit of Philly tech nostalgia, what’s your favorite story through the years? Tell us here:


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