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PuneTech’s “Monetization Plan” was an April Fools Day Prank

Our article yesterday, about our “Sponsored Saturdays” and “Pay Per Tweet” monetization plan was an April Fools Day prank.

Actually, we were overwhelmed by the amount and intensity of the response generated by that article. In fact, we feel bad for having toyed with the feelings of all the people who actually got fooled by that article and brought such strong emotions and passion to the comments.

Sorry.

And hopefully, you’ll forgive us this moment of fun.

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The post generated a huge number of comments. At the time of writing this article, there are 78 comments. There were three kinds of commentors on that post:

  • Those who left a comment pointing out that this was an April Fools Day prank. We held all those comments in moderation until this morning, to ensure that the fun did not end prematurely. So nobody saw those comments yesterday, while the debate raged on. They are now visible, but marked with a [***]. So when you read all those comments, remember that the comments marked with a [***] were not visible yesterday.
  • Those who realized that this is a prank, but decided to join the fun and leave fake comments. I should point out that this was not pre-planned by us. Of these commentors, only Arun and Amit Kumar knew about the prank beforehand – all others guessed and jumped into the fray on their own. You guys made this much more fun than we had imagined!
  • Those who did not realize that this is a prank, and either expressed their displeasure with the new policy, or defended our right to monetize in this way. To all of you: our sincere thanks for taking the time out to let your feelings be known. While this time it was just a prank, we do really hope that in the future you will let us know your feedback when tricky policy issues regarding PuneTech do crop up, as they sometimes do. Especially the ones who blasted us – we do need readers like that to keep us pointed in the correct direction. Thanks again.

- – -

In any case, you must read the comments. It will be an entertaining experience. As they say, iss meiN drama haiN, emotion haiN, comedy haiN, tragedy haiN. Just remember that all comments marked with a [***] were not visible yesterday.

Also, you do subscribe to the PuneTech comments feed (or comments-by-email), don’t you?

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Even the PuneMirror got fooled. In this (unrelated) article they wrote about TechMarathi, they included the following line:

[PuneTech] was until recently a non-profit venture. They have just introduced a paid content section for one day of the week.

Oh well…

- – -

Vishwajeet left a comment with the best conspiracy theory explanation:

It seems you have taken an appropriate day for announcing this, if it does not goes well among the community than you can take it back as April fool’s day prank :) way to go.

No. This was always an April Fools Day prank. Arun, Anup and Amit Kumar, the 3 fake “customers” whom we “quoted” in the article knew that this was a prank (because we had to take their permission to misuse their names in this way).

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Titash asked this pertinent question:

Is monetisation a must for every human endeavor?

Although we argued with Titash yesterday while the game was being played, in reality, we do agree with Titash. Our answer is a resounding no. We have no intentions of monetizing PuneTech.

There was some discussion about sustainability of PuneTech, but here’s the point: It takes very little hard cash to keep PuneTech running. The only expenses we have are the domain name and hosting, both of which are cheap enough that we don’t mind paying from our own pockets.

The main “investment” in PuneTech is in terms of time – our own time, as well as the time of so many other members of the tech community in Pune who do things for the community. So, if we must worry about sustainability, we should think in terms of time and not money.

Money cannot buy the quality that Pune Tech needs. Passion is not for sale. Sure, we could use money to pay for getting PuneTech a decent, much needed, design. But that’s not really what PuneTech is about. Money won’t buy high quality content. Money couldn’t have bought this article by Dhananjay Nene, nor this article by Addepalli. You couldn’t have paid Abhijit Athavale to start PuneChips and TechMarathi certainly wont be able to afford all the volunteers who work on it.

Time is more than money! So please “sponsor” PuneTech by donating some of your time. Write an article.

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13-year old UpaPilot commented:

Rs. 10k per post? Are you mad?

I think he was on to something there…

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Asuph said:

And Navin, you’re taking this too far. Even fake ‘angry’ commentors!

No, we did not fake any angry commentors! The fake angry commentors were genuine. This is just another example of the community coming forward to help out. Isn’t UGC (user generated content) great?

- – -

The Discrete Log vs Indiscrete Log comments were just too funny! Hats off Shashikant and Dhananjay!

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Still can’t decide whether Anil was fooled (exhibit 1, exhibit 2, exhibit 3) or not. But I guess this comment forces us to give him the benefit of doubt.

- – -

You can all go back to work now. The …umm… “future of Pune will suffer” if you don’t!

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Comments

3 responses to PuneTech’s “Monetization Plan” was an April Fools Day Prank

  1. Titash says:

    This was a good strategy to get a tap on market sentiments and bring a smile on everyone’s face at the same time. awesome Punetech. You got me this time. I will be on my guard next year. :)

  2. “Money cannot buy the quality that Pune Tech needs. Passion is not for sale.”

    Very impressive, keep it up!

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