In Search of Web Parody

Archive for May 2009

eBay Parody

Posted on: May 23, 2009

Are looking for the perfect URL for a website, but are disappointed all the good ones are taken?   How about a nice stick?  Or maybe the Presidency of the United States of America?   If so, you should head over to the eGad auction site where all of these great items are up for bid.

The parody site looks similar to an early version of eBay.  All of the categories listed on the left side of the page all lead to the same listing of auction items, so it doesn’t take long to see everything.   Just for fun, I attempted to bid on an item and came across a page that said…   (on second thought, go try it yourself…)

 

eGad

eGad

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Here’s a post that’s past its prime.  Just when you thought you’d never read another word about that very long (and pretty humorous if you ask me) 2008 presidential campaign, I came across the very lame BarackBook.

Since I wrote a post a while back about Fake Twitter Accounts, I figured that Fake Facebook accounts would be fair game. 

The fake Obama  Facebook page can be found at BarackBook.com.  If you look at the bottom of the page, you will see that it was created by those GOP jokesters from the Republican National  Committee.    The Friend Feed has lines like “Barack Obama is now friends with William Ayers”.    Ha ha, good one.   

 I guess the most surprising aspect of this parody is that the RNC actually claimed ownership.  Gee, if they were going to go to all the effort of making the page  (at least 15 minutes by my count), they could have at least made it funny.

Fake Obama Facebook page by RNC

Fake Obama Facebook page by RNC

 

So, the above page got me wondering if the DNC created a similar page.  No, it didn’t.  So, no apples to apples comparisons here. 

 But, there was somebody willing to step up instead.  Someone created a fake Sarah Palin page on the real Facebook site and it became very popular in a short period of time.  Since it violated Facebook’s terms of service, it no longer exists in a live form.  So, you’ll have to be content viewing an image of it.

Click here to view a full screen image

Click here to view a full screen image

My previous post was about hoax websites that Google created as a joke.  I became curious about Google parody sites not associated with Google.  It’s not surprising that there are a fairly large number of them out there. 

Some of the links I came across no longer work; perhaps the work of the Google Legal Department.  I spent some time looking at the sites and picked the best ones to feature here.   

My favorite site is Toogle.  It is a parody of Google Image Search.  When you type something into the search box, you get an image of whatever you typed using the word that you typed.  For example, if you type in Obama, you get back a photo of Obama that is actually made from the word “Obama”.   Perhaps I’m easily amused, but I tried out about ten different searches and was highly impressed.  You have to try this one! 

Toogle Image Search

Toogle Image Search

  

Shmoogle uses the catchline “and if the result you were looking for was hiding in page 53?”  A Shmoogle search will return Google results in a random order.  Instead of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 (based on Google’s algorithms), you might see number 487 displayed first, then 180, 342, 658, 60, etc.  Hey, it gives hope to those of us with loser websites that we might actually be on page one!

Shmoogle - all results are equal

Shmoogle - all results are equal

 

Here’s a search site you’d never use: Spam Google.   Enter any term and the only results that come back are spam.   You’ve seen those sites – – the ones that are just a list of advertisement links.   So why did this make my list of favorites?  It’s original, sort of.

Spam Google - just the noise

Spam Google - just the noise

 

 Next up is elgooG, the Google mirror site. The link I’m supplying is actually a mirror to the Google mirror. How’s that for confusing? At first, I couldn’t get this to work right. Then I discovered that you have to enter in your search query backwards (ie; type in “esuoh etihw” for “white house”). It still works if you type it in the normal way, but the search results are a little off. Be sure to read the Google Mirror FAQ while you are there.

Note: When I first posted the link to the Google Mirror, it worked fine. Ten minutes later, it stopped working.  The next day, it worked fine … If it doesn’t work for you now, try again another day.

elgooG - Google mirror

elgooG - Google mirror

 

The last site today me lads and me lassies come full o’ blarney.  Doogle is a search site that automatically adds “the luck o’ the Irish” to all of your search queries.  Actually, it adds random Irish-themed words such as gaeltacht, feck, arse, gobshite, … you  get the idea.   Needless to say, this has a noticeable effect on your search results.

Doogle - the Feckin' Search Engine of Ireland

Doogle - the Feckin' Search Engine of Ireland

April Fool’s Day brings a motherload of internet pranks and hoaxes.  As part of an almost-annual tradition since  2000, Google joins in on the fun.  In this post, I’ll cover the jokes up through 2007.    The Google hoaxes for 2008 can be viewed in a different post.

2000 – Google launches MentalPlex search.  Why be bothered typing in your search query when Google can read your mind for you?google1a

2002 – Google unveils its PigeonRank search technology.   Ingenious use of the massively parallel pecking capabilities of the common gray pigeon brings Google to the forefront of search technology.

google1

2004 – Google plans to open lunar research center.  It’s not enough to take over the Earth, Google wants to expand its reach to the moon.google2

2005 – Google Gulp   If you drink Coke just for the caffeine, you’ll love what Google Gulp will do for you.google3 

 2006 – Google Romance – Find your perfect match using the new Soulmate Search and then enjoy an all-expenses paid date (provided you agree to view contextually relevant advertising during your date).  google4
 

2007 – Gmail Paper – Know someone who likes to print out all of their emails before reading them?  This handy hard-copy delivery service is just for them!

google5

2007 – Google TiSP – Google offers a free in-home wireless broadband service that connects your wifi-enabled toilet to the internet via your plumbing system. 

google6

BBSpot is a tech humor site filled with, you guessed it, geeky tech-related humor.  While there are hundreds of different fake news stories on the site, I am focusing only on one:  Twitter Unveils New Premium Accounts.

This fake news story, written a couple months ago, announced the introduction of paid premium accounts on Twitter.  The account levels range from “Sparrow” at $5.00 per month all the way up to “Eagle” at $250 per month.  For a mere additional $100 per year, your tweets will be forwarded to a “well-educated offshore employee who will embellish tweets”.   (my note: I wonder if they offer the same service for us lowly bloggers…)

Fake news stories aren’t exactly rare these days with some of the best coming from The Onion.   I decided to feature the Twitter Premium Accounts story because so many people fell for it (and still continue to do so).

 

twitter-pay