Melody pointed me to this video of a flash mob dancing to the Black Eyed Peas’ ‘I gotta feeling’ in Chicago for a block party to celebrate Oprah’s 24th season. It’s quite awesome to watch. The organisers got the people behind the T-Mobile flash mob in London to work on it, and Oprah herself was completely clueless. Here’s how it was planned.
This was an engineered event no doubt, and therefore less ‘flash’ than in the typical usage of the term, but there’s still something to be said about watching people’s collective behaviour in a crowd. There was a time when the word ‘mob’ only had negative connotations. Flash mobs have changed that, and even more interestingly, are a phenomenon that only began with the increasing use of the internet and mobile technology. That’s pretty significant, don’t you think? I think ‘smart mob‘ is a much better description though, a concept introduced by Howard Rheingold in his 2002 book Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution. Anyway, that’s the sociologist in me thinking aloud.