Reading Clay Shirky’s Here Comes Everybody has me wondering about social media flash mobs. He relates the term flash mob to a small group of people using a particular social media tool for a short period of time. This is precisely my assignment. I am to blog for a week to reach (at least) my 12 classmates. I’m intrigued, now, by my first participation in a flash mob.
What do other social media flash mobs look like? Evite would be one tool that focuses on a flash mob model. Can you think of others that cater to a small group of people for a short amount of time? I’m coming up blank at the moment.
However, I can think of a few examples of a larger social media flash mob moving from the virtual world into the physical world. The Texas state senator Wendy Davis’s physical flash mob of support? Someone posted the video on YouTube, others spread the word through Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and other media. The resulting crowd that gathered in the rotunda was so loud the senators could hardly hear each other and the vote came too late. (There’s more on that story today, if you’re interested.)
There were social media flash mobs during tropical storm Sandy. Word spread through the social media and people began to share where gas stations had power, where there were places to charge phones, and where people could find shelter.
Just in these three examples I can see that social media is changing not only the way we socialize, but also the way we govern and the way we respond to emergencies. Does the idea of online flash mobs give you an idea of how social media is changing our world? Will you share it here?