Those Flashy but quite Smart Mobs
There are many different ways to organise communication. An interesting way to get the message across is in the form of mobs. Flash and Smart Mobs are two different versions of essentially the same thing. Both are used to get the point across, both are organised very carefully even if it may seem unplanned.
Bianca talks about the assembly of a Flash mob in Macy's, where two hundred people asked for a "love rug" and greatly confused the staff. This type of assembly is something that is usually put together for the sake of breaking conformity. Often groups feel that the world is overly structured, that people need to "cut loose", and organise comical yet meaningful flash mobs to break the monotony. These mobs can be formed quite easily nowadays, what with the use of blogs, email, chat rooms, cell phones and text messages to name a few, there are so many different ways to communicate. The organisation of such mobs, and smart mobs too, can literally be formed at the drop of a hat by something like a group text message.
When I think of slower forming things like sending out invitations or alerts to a scheduled mob like using snail mail or perhaps even advertisments, I think of Smart Mobs. Smart mobs are assembled with more reason than to simply break up a boring day. Smart Mobs, although assembled primarily with technology like PDA's and cell phones, are reminiscint of old fashioned protests or assemblies arranged through mail, flyers or convention. Smart mobs are arranged primarily for political or social awareness or gain, and not simply for art or breaking up a city's monotony. On Wikipedia it says that in the Phillipines they think smart mobbing via text messages may be actually responsible for ousting a president. That amazes me.
Melissa talks about how her job and those of her friends actually use technology like AIM and texting to forward their meetings and arrange the workplace.
Basically, it's pretty cool that entire groups of people can be brought together, if only momentarily, to experience and stand for one thing together. It's a great kind of unity to see. I think that unlike Cyndi says, these types of mobs are here to stay, if not only as political agendas or forms of art, but as ways of organising all different types of conventions.