We may have fooled ourselves with our fake magazine debut last Friday. The Pinkbike Magazine post went live and shortly after all hell broke loose - the support for a printed publication from PB was overwhelming.
How did this come together? At Pinkbike we have a long history of creating some fairly involved April Fool's gags, from turning the site into a 'My Little Pony' mural to actually turning the website upside-down. Needless to say, we take April Fool's pretty seriously. As the fateful April 1st date approached, all sorts of ideas were thrown around the office. One aspect we really wanted to focus on was to ensure that whatever we did was as realistic as possible.
My Little Pony Riding High in 2006
So, two days before April 1st and we were still without a concrete idea. Like a bolt from the blue, Phil Townsley
, a graphical designer who had worked on 20/20 BMX Magazine
, emailed us to inquire about some potential project work. It was like a sign, and suddenly we were all in agreement that the prank would be to create a faux magazine. Take away the April Fool's factor, and you actually have a fairly viable and believable idea. Pinkbike has all the assets needed to produce a publication - so why not?
Pinkbike gets inverted in 2008
Phil was all over it. We put together some rough layouts and a cover in a night, and sent it to Phil the next day. In about 4 hours he had transformed some InDesign files into what looked very much like a living breathing mag. It had all fallen into place with uncanny synchronization. Contributions from Ian Hylands, Sterling Lorence and Baxter Redfern gave us the rad nugs we needed. PB staffers created actual stories to include and even transcribed Bearclaw's post Redbull Rampage interview into usable copy.
Jon Kennedy at Diamondback stepped it up big time and sent us an actual print ad, as well as a never-before-seen photo of their new DH bike to showcase in the spread. In a mere 24 hours PB had come together and produced a layout that looked as good as anything on the newsstands! To add to the realism, we created a special form to take subscriptions. The form was non-functional and didn't actually record any information, so we don't know how many subscriptions were generated. No credit cards were charged, however many users from around the world emailed asking about more details, and why their order hadn't been processed!
Semenuk graces the cover of Pinkbike Magazine in 2011
Once launched, we enjoyed the rest of day as several key industry advertisers began asking to come on board and inquiring about ad rates. Distributors in Malaysia, China, Mexico and Germany wanted to import the new publication. We have certainly had our fun this year, and even though painful, it's time to come clean. There is no Pinkbike Magazine and hopefully, all of our loyal friends who thought we were serious will laugh along with us. We would like to sincerely thank everyone who knew it was a prank and kept the joke alive, and the hundreds of people who commented and helped Pinkbike Magazine be a true success.
There are a number of great print magazines available for people who still like to consume their news in that format, but for the foreseeable future, Pinkbike will focus exclusively on making the online MTB community better and better. We believe that it's better for the environment to send electronic bits around the world instead of tree atoms.
Next year is definitely going to be a challenge - we'll have to start planning now! Can we still do anything that can be made to be believable for April Fool's next year? Stay tuned!
We would like to thank the whole PB team, Phil Townsley, Ian Hylands, Sterling Lorence, Jon Kennedy, Brandon Semenuk and the whole community for letting us have a little out-of-the-ordinary fun once a year