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December 22, 2009


What is a Flash Mob?

After reading a recent BFG blog article by Hal Thomas about the use of the flash mob, I had to learn a bit more. As Hal put it, “I totally geek flash mobs.” I totally agree with Hal on this one.

A flash mob  or flashmob is typically a large group of people who assembly rather quickly in a public venue to perform an unusual act for a short time, then it quickly ends as fast as it started. Did you know the first flash mob was created in Manhattan in May of 2003 by Bill Wasik, senior editor of Harper’s Magazine?

How do you start a flash mob?

  1. Have an “ORIGINAL” Idea
    Ideas are harder to come by than most people think. Flash Mobs are not very effective if there are no people to witness your well planned event.
  2. Timing is Everything – Almost Everything
    This refers back to the whole participation thing. If your event is spontaneous in nature and just requires people to show up at the same time and do something goofy, they may not need very much time to prepare for the event. The ideal time for this sort of thing is at the end of the workday, between 5 and 6 PM. Based on research, for some reason Thursday seems to be the best day for maximum flash mob visibilty.
  3. Get the Word Out
    If your event is spontaneous in nature, you can create an anonymous email account  and send to 50 random people in your address book. Ask them to send it along to another 20 people. You could also post to bulletin boards like to target a specific demographic by posting to a specific category or discussion forum.
  4. Step Back and Enjoy
    This is your mob. You have provided the idea, timing and the marketing. Now step away. People just really want to be led, but resist the urge. If your concept has merit, the mob will self organize and self determine into something more than you could have ever conceived. If you lead it, it will likely just become a parade. Please do not get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with a good parades.

Here are a couple of great flash mob links:

Improv Everywhere causes scenes of chaos and joy in public places. Created in August of 2001 by Charlie Todd, Improv Everywhere has executed over 100 missions involving tens of thousands of undercover agents. The group is based in New York City.

Zombie Walk is an organized public gathering of people who dress up in zombie costumes. Usually taking place in an urban centre, the participants make their way around the city streets and through shopping malls in a somewhat orderly fashion and often limping their way towards a local cemetery or other public space (a series of taverns in the case of a zombie pub crawl).

FlashMob is a great outlet to attempt to local or create your own flash mob in any given city. Check it out if you want to try to create your own special event!

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Dec 23 2009

    I’ve seen this a few times on YouTube. It was in the London Underground I believe. Love it!

  2. Hmmmm that’s cool.


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