Well this was I spent a good portion of of my working day doing on March 31st.
About two weeks ago, the supermoderators, administrators and employees of Boards.ie starting asking what we should do for April Fool’s day. I had been poking around on vBulletin.org earlier and had come across a Facebook style skin, so my first suggestion was that we simply tell people we’d been bought by Facebook and throw the skin up on the site.
Well everyone else took that idea and ran with it, making for an interesting – if somewhat unbelievable – April Fool’s prank, www.faceboards.ie. Made for an interesting morning for everyone, and as it didn’t disrupt boards.ie itself I think it was pulled off without irritating anyone.
Various moderators and users really got into it, and the Supermoderators and DeVore dropped various “hints” throughout the week to try and aid the eventual reveal.
Technically it was a fairly simple trick to pull off; although I stopped at changing our domain cookies to make faceboards.ie a true “mirror” as I figured it would cause more disruption than was worth doing. It involved the use of the same basic hack (and related) that I used to set up m.boards.ie, and just making sure the front page and other pages did the same style switching when the domain “face.boards.ie” was requested.
The majority of my time was spent fixing bugs in the style, adding functionality for some modifications, fiddling with some graphics and layout, and generally just shining it up enough so that people didn’t immediately see the ruse.
Altogether it was good fun, probably didn’t trick many people but at least everyone had a bit of a laugh.