A NYTimes communications person emailed to ask us to correct or take down our post earlier today about the debut of their new iPad application, which they’re calling “The New York Times on the iPad.” The post, they say, contains “extremely old information that is inaccurate” and requests that we correct or take down the post.
The post, of course, is a fake. It’s the third of our April Fools jokes and while we knew it would be the most subtle, we didn’t realize that pretty much no one at all would get the message. So I’ll explain, but just a little.
If you compare the post to the article linked from the post (there’s just one link in the whole post), you’ll notice that it is identical to the 1996 NYTimes article announcing their website. The only changes we made were to replace “Web Site” with “iPad App” and “Word Wide Web” with “iPad.”
And the amazing thing is the story still works. With just a couple more tweaks, like updating the executives in the article, this actually could be a launch post for the NYTimes on the iPad. In fact it works so well that the NYTimes didn’t get the point. One NYTimes writer even happily retweeted the post. So you see, the more things change, the more things stay the same. The World Wide Web didn’t save the New York Times. And neither will the iPad.