Saturday, November 27, 2010

Flash Mobs

Someone on Facebook asked me what a flash mob was. I then lost the whole morning reading about flash mobs and crafting this response.
From Wikipedia A flash mob (or flashmob) is a large group of people who assemble suddenly in a public place, perform an unusual and pointless act for a brief time, then quickly disperse. The term flash mob is generally applied only to gatherings organized via telecommunications, social media, or viral emails.

Say I wanted to organize a pillow fight in Forest Park for this afternoon. I'd put the word out on Twitter and Facebook and hope it gets passed around. Then we'd hit each other with pillows for 5 minutes and then disperse. The singing and dancing ones are more organized, obviously.

Examples are:

Antwerp Station, which I think might have been the beginning of the flash mobs

Oprah's 25th season kick-off. The Black Eyed Peas taught 800 people to do the dance. Those 800 people taught the remaining 20,000 people in the crowd how to the dance while they were waiting for the kickoff:

It's not always dancing:

Philadelphia doesn't get it. They think this is a flash mob. They're wrong:

This guy wants everyone to know that flash mobs are not the same as riots.

And in conclusion,