Rick Roll Someone
By Nathan Johnson
Perhaps you’re familiar with the Rick Rolling craze that’s been captivating America over the past few months. We’ll give you some detailed instructions on how to do it below. If you want a super quick tutorial, go here.
Actually, as quick background for anyone who doesn’t know, Rick Rolling is a form of online prank wherein the prank player sends an e-mail or posts a message encouraging the recipient or reader to go to a site to see a video of something. Typically, it’s something the sender thinks the recipient would want to view immediately. For instance, if you had a friend who loves celebrity news, you could send her a link to check out the latest footage of a Britney meltdown. When the unsuspecting individual clicks the link, he or she is forwarded to the YouTube video of Rick Astley’s 1987 hit “Never Gonna Give You Up.”
The odd thing is, when it happens to you, at first, you’re confused as to what’s going on, then you start to realize it’s a prank. Then you’re a little angry for about three seconds – just long enough to really start hearing Rick Astley singing. If you’re old enough, you remember when this song was actually on the radio, and it reminds you of a different time and, hopefully, how much you absolutely loved this song and 80s music in general. Before you know it, you’re singing right along with Rick.
So, how do you do it? It’s really pretty simple.
First, pick a mark, preferably a good-natured friend, family member or colleague. Consider the type of video this person would want to watch right away – a new movie trailer starring his or her favorite actor, a clip from a heated political debate, sports highlights – it can be virtually anything.
Next, compose a simple message – one without too much detail but just enough to hook your mark. Within that message, you’ll be hyperlinking one of the words – probably the word “video” or “here” or “this.” It’s important to hyperlink the word rather than just posting the YouTube link outright.
Hyperlinking a word is pretty easy. Most e-mail programs have some sort of hyperlink feature. Basically, all you need to do is take the mouse and highlight the word you want to hyperlink. Then you can select the hyperlink feature from the tool bar or locate the hyperlink feature elsewhere. When activated, the feature should have a box allowing you to enter the link address. You’ll then input the link to the YouTube video of “Never Gonna Give You Up.”
To make it easy on you, this is the link:
Once you’ve got the message the way you want it, click the send button, sit back and smile. You’ll be sharing a fun Internet prank and taking part in a goofy pop culture phenomenon.
E-mail the author: Nathan Johnson