« August 12, 2003: Flash Mobs are 99% Bad »

No, seriously. Stop it. I have had enough.

I was at a diner this morning having breakfast and a couple who appeared to be in their late 60s were sitting at the counter, watching the muted CNN and talking about Flash Mobs.

"Does this have something to do with the big virus that's going around?" she asked, referring to the MSBlast annoyance that seems to be pestering those who are unprotected by system patches or firewalls. He explained that the phenonmenon was unrelated, that the mobs weren't protests against anything, just spontaneous gatherings arranged by email.

She remarked that the whole thing didn't seem to accomplish much, but then that was probably the point, and he concurred. He found it really exciting that these were arranged entirely online.

Then I went home and flipped open this week's issue of Time. There was an article on Flash Mobs. Those who are worried about the weblog fad flaming out, fear not. Mobs are truly the flagpole-sitting of the new millennium. As Joshua astutely observed, Flash Mobs are striking in that they are an affinity event for people who have no affinity group. A Meetup for people who like Meetups. How much more meta can it get? None. None more meta.

I must note, with a bit of disappointment, that neither the couple at the diner nor my favorite newsweekly mentioned weblogs in either of their stories. That means I must continue my incessant blog-pimping sidebar for another few years. Such is my burden.


Aren't blogs just for people who like blogging?

Free Republic, isn't that a metal band?

I may be mistaken in my suspicions, but I think that the first Birmingham, UK one will put a new spin on things, in that it might actually be socially productive. I guess we'll all have to wait and see.

Haven't you heard? Flash mobs are *so* last week. The new thing is web drugs.

Time is your favorite newsweekly?

Does anybody really know what time it is?

Haha! Better'n usual humor Anil -- I actually smirked, and it takes a lot to get me to smirk at my computer screen these days! ;-)

What a shame!

"Great, you all know how to use e-mail. Now go home."

Haha now that is funny.

"How much more meta can it get?"

This much more meta:

I've now remarked on Jason Lefkowitz's trackback to your commentary on the old couples' discussion of the newscaster's reporting of the flash mob.


P.S. Anil, when are you gonna change the CSS for your comment-preview page? You know, like purple and white.

... hold it, what was that, mobs of Flash designers on web drugs, is that what we're talking about...? ;-)

you da pimp, meta.

Hmm, apparently I'm da pimp.

Who knew?

Yesterday my got an email from a flash mob trolling for publicity. My least techie friend who recently stumbled onto FM's said, "Is that sorta contrary to the point?"

This from a man who thinks email will start a fire.

Flash mobs were the subject of a front-page story in the (Columbia, SC) State Newspaper today.

Read it here:

Bottom line: The first flash mob here had a disapponting response.

I say we arrange a FlashMob so we can sit for a few minutes and watch Anil eat at the diner, and with every bite he eats, we clap aloud.

Who is up for the Anil FlashMob?

obviously hadn't had enough of flash mobs, and decided to do it bigger :D hail overlord!

It seems to me that even though many journalists deride weblogs as not "real" journalism (which is true 99% of the time - a lot of them read weblogs. I think many would admit personal publishing is a terrific avenue for new story ideas. And this has resulted in the mainstream press picking up on stories much faster than it would have before the web. A story like Flash Mobs (which admittedly couldn't exist before the web - but that's besides the point) probably would have taken a year or more to make the NYT and Time.
The marketing and PR people are well onto this, of course. If you want to get something promoted in the press - get it promoted on weblogs first. It's free and fast.

Aren't 'flash mobs' a group of old guys who walk around together in the park in trench coats?

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Ant's Eye View: Great, you all know how to use e-mail. Now go home

90% Crud: ... I'm still sitting on this damn flagpole.... Anil Dash on the flash mobs phenomenon I discussed earlier. Flash Mobs are striking in that they are an affinity...

The Poor Man: So I guess there's something called a "Flash Mob". And I guess it involves people meeting on the internet, all...