Gullible journalists agree to prank their readers

Nate Westheimer, a New York entrepreneur best known for holding a Silicon Alley popularity contest, attempted to persuade Valleywag to participate in an April Fools' joke. We said we'd cover it, so here's the story: Right about now, if Westheimer's prank goes as he told us, Mashable, CNET blog The Social, and Silicon Alley Insider should be attempting to persuade you of the existence of a new startup called Urlrurl.com. The website converts long Web addresses into shorter ones, as TinyURL does. Unlike TinyURL, its shorter URLs all redirect users to a YouTube page with a Rick Astley video, a silly stunt known as "rickrolling."

Gullible journalists agree to prank their readers

By sheer noncoincidence, Westheimer will be pitching his startup at a tech meetup in New York tonight. We wonder who's the sucker here — hapless Web readers, or the reporters who lined up to trick them and boost Westheimer's profile for the day? We suggest you check how dutifully each participant repeats Westheimer's list of "talking points" in his email below. Then ask yourself how this differs from the way they cover startups on any other day of the year.

Gullible journalists agree to prank their readers