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(translated from the German wikipaedia)

with permission of the authors? If not, this is CopyLeft-only text, and needs expunging...

Flashmobs are short, seemingly spontanous aggregations of people on public and semipublic places. They are oranized via Weblogs, Newsgroups and chain-emails and dicicively do not stand for any political content.

Following a call from the internet the participants meet in a place where they receive further instructions on the place the event takes place and the expiration of the flashmob. Typical for flashmobs are the sudden creation of the mob out of nothingness, the ident performance in the mob (i.e. applauding, telphoning using identical text) and the sudden nulification after few minutes.

Beginning from the day of a first action in New York in June 2003 the flashmob wave arrived in Europe in the end of July where first actions took place in Rome and Vienna

links (German)

http://www.zeit.de/2003/38/Flashmobs

http://flashmob.twoday.net/stories/48416/ankündigung

http://www.heise.de/tp/deutsch/inhalt/te/15340/1.html

english http://www2.fmg.uva.nl/sociosite/websoc/flashmob.html#types


Out of a waiting crowd suddenly 50 people step together, clap their hand, shout a message, perform some act, then step back into the crowd and disappear. What did you observe? A FlashMob, an example of social organization with a fun and zen character.

It's a silly example of BarnRaising: it needs many people at the same place and the same time. Less dramatically, this is the case for any "RealLife" meetup. But, unlike SmartMobs, they're building something ephemeral and short term.


Still on the beginning of my lurking phase - gradually realizing that this might become a long on - me, MattisManzel, would like to express - as well as I'm amazed about the quality and the quantity of quality I read here - my astonishment about the few discussions on FlashMob?, SmartMob? and GlobalFlashMob?. I help on the first global flashmob by supplying http://www.wikiwiki.de/newwiki/pmwiki.php/Wiki/ListGfm yesterday - though it's a bit late yet (for this time at least). I think making flashmobbers get to know wiki is important. They would realize how much they could do together there. Wiki and flashmob I "feel" go together well.


...I'm amazed about the few discussions about FlashMob at MeatBall...

I think that's because FlashMob is an offline phenomenon. A wiki with upload facilities would be a good tool to document, focus and motivate activists. But perhaps this would reduce the magic of the "invisible organization" that's behind it (if a wiki is used, it should be closed for the public).-- HelmutLeitner

Flashmob is a mixed online/offline phenomena, like many things nowadays. Good tool, agree. What invisible org is standing behind what? For FlashMob a wiki closed to the public would be about as useful, as a toilet that you can't take a shit on. --MattisManzel

Ok, nice example. One could have a single username/password that is passed from activist to activist. But, then - if that is not the reason - I don't understand why there is no FlashMob Wiki. -- HelmutLeitner

I think there are few discussion about FlashMobs here because no one has bothered talking about them. Tautological, yet true.

What should be discussed? FlashMob as a phenomenon seems a "nice performance" but without much online community aspects in it. What kind of discussion would you expect? "FlashMob is great" hype? FlashMob will change the world? -- HelmutLeitner

Flash mobs are mostly organized online, while beeing executed offline - it's mixed on/offline technical/social. Without online preparations there would be no flash mob. It is - at least it has been for the past month - an extraordinary widespread and successfull phenomena. It has shaped its few rules and techniques out of its own and pretty collective. I have tried to help on Global Flash Mob. http://www.wikiwiki.de/newwiki/pmwiki.php/Wiki/GlobalFlashMob. According to me the problem was, that the preparations for GFM#1 on 25th oct went on too long behind closed doors. The 23rd of oct I did the list and the response was good, concidering the short preparation time. Wiki and flashmob are open, they fit like a glove. I'm dreaming of GCM http://www.wikiwiki.de/newwiki/pmwiki.php/Wiki/GlobalCommunicationMob -- MattisManzel

Ok, let's do it like an interview. What is the dream that you are dreaming when you think "GCM"?

You know, "caugh!" - can I have a glass of water please? Oh, thank you - "slurp" - you know, It' nothing but the basic dream of humanity I have in mind. "Humanity", beeing friends. Global peace, there are many terms. See: We two work together, do we? You ask and I say and everybody can in whatever way contribute and develop this. It's ours. And this is superior to "theirs". It's open. It has more intelligence involved. At least it could have. So, if we two work together, why don't we all work together? Multilingual naturally. What are you up to these days? Gründerwiki I think was cool. You're capable of makeing fine concepts. MattisManzel

I think we already cooperate. We should start to collaborate. Do you remember what I asked you when we first met? "Why are social activists unable to from communities?" That's a question that haunts me. If you help me work solve this riddle (to overcome it), I'll help you with your online activities. Maybe it's one and the same thing. I can help you with knowledge about "community mechanics" or by providing wikis for special purposes. For example I think that a FlashMob wiki will need a special technical design and features to work. We can collaborate and both have an advantage. But I think you need to accept that I'll never share much of your worldview. We may have similar ideals but go on different paths. -- HelmutLeitner

I took a look at flash mob sites today, there is few activities going on. A wiki designed exclusivly for flash mob would make sense, but now, facing the online month's of winter on the northern hemisphere, it would rather make sense to provide a wiki for a global communication mob. Integration of translation, filters to filter out undesired languages, automaticaly different text colors for each language, automatic subside creation for translation questions to be discussed, many languages for the program window to choose. "Feel at home in the world, communicate all together!", something like that. -- MattisManzel

I know that you want to make your own experiences, so ignore this: It won't work. If you someday want to know why, you can always find people who will explain. -- HelmutLeitner

What is it you tell me, I wonder. It will not work yet, as you won't help, yes, I agree. But we're anyhow into passing useless advices to oneanother instead of working: When you are on ski gravitation pulls you down, right to the middle of the earth, right? When on a plain surface, nothing happens. You are in a stable equilibrium and you can stand there and discuss everything forever. To get into real skiing you have to get on a downhill surface. -- MattisManzel

Helmut, first FlashMobs are on-topic. Second, we're not here to cut down others' work unless it has a direct negative impact on us. Everyone is free to do what they want. There may be such thing as a ColdBlanket to DefendAgainstPassion, but there is a whole other that that is just being arrogant. Or maybe cynical. DefendAgainstCynicism. -- SunirShah

Sunir, there may be some misunderstandings. I said nothing against FlashMob or any sozial activity. I even installed and support ESF-Wiki for the "European Social Forum". My "can't work" refers to a "MultilingualGlobalCommunicationWiki" and is meant as a scientific prediction from a theory put to test by falsification. This last exchange is just a continuation of discussions between Mattis and me in a number of different German wikis and may be incomprehensible in itself. In fact my sympathy and my offer of cooperation in multiple ways (even the GründerWiki is a side-effect of this communication) is constantly turned down because it is not considered "help" in the "follow our flag" way they are looking for. What I try to do - with some effort - is to bridge the gap between social activists and the wiki culture. Mattis is the most talented thinker I found in their camp. He has a very large potential - perhaps more than we two together. If he could be talked into "think wiki" they could win years in their social organization - but, that would mean they would have to change their thinking about online community. This seems especially a problem of "big design" versus "stepwise growth". -- HelmutLeitner

Maybe, but saying, "It won't work," is pointless as it is unconvincing. It's best to present things to consider during the experiment rather than predict the outcome. -- SunirShah

Mattis, DefendAgainstPassion. Be practical. Don't write with so much rhetoric. You aren't convincing anyone with writing so different from the rest of the writing here. I will delete sarcasm, but if you make me continuously clean up after your writing, I won't be very happy with you. -- SunirShah

"Caugh!" Helmut and me, we're cooperating. We might even get into colaboration. Bridging gaps follows minding gaps. I highly respect Heltmut's efforts in wikiland. We tend to gently provoke oneanother in our conversation, as we are interested in how the other reacts (to know what to prevent, if it should ever get serious, know?). Our conversation spreads over several places and therefore is partly incomprehensible for other readers here. This disrupts serious discussion, ... ... ..., is there much of a serious discussion on flashmob to disrupt, and doen't the frightful nomination of bizarre and doubtful advices like DefendAgainstPassion (passion is the spice of converstion and life, its absence is death) disrupt an interview - (caugh) - kind of a nice little online flash mob here on FlashMob Helmut has just started with me? Thinking this here as an interwiew and as a flash mob on FlashMob you could concider Sunirs censorship as a police reaction. You could as well drop that and rather explain. The two censored sentences refer to the movie Matrix. After having choosen the red pill, which made the central decision about finding out the truth about the Matrix, Neo is beeing prepared for getting disconnected, he's afraid what will happen next. They wait for the signal to come. "What next?" "Then kansas goes byebye" answers Cypher - the evil character - , not really helping Neo with this. It's a "Mary Poppins" quote I heard. Helmut and I, we are a little proud of our english. It was an angloamerican-mainstream-culture-teaser, it was not sarcastic, rather my standart average Helmut-teasing. Teaching an austrian the basic physics of skiing was sarcastic, yes. Excuse me everybody, but would you please restore my deleted contribution, Samir? I was a little proud of it, 'know? Ok, I recommended Matrix to everybody, peace gently like an invisble veil returns over this sacred wikipage and the discussion on FlashMob, the interwiev (- ...! -), or whatever goes on. We won't stop till we get to the ninetyninth floor, will we? http://en.logilogi.org/HomE/MattisManzel/Talk -- MattisManzel

Since you've now misspelt my name twice, you probably haven't read this site deeply enough to understand its motivations. ;) But ignoring that, we AssumeGoodFaith. Editing is not policing, nor is it censorship. We DefendAgainstPassion because it disrupts collaboration. Note for instance your abuses of the concepts "police" and "censorship".

You shouldn't tease individuals here. When we refactor the text, we will just have to delete all those useless words. Only write what is essential and contributory. Focus on BarnRaising rather than yourself or your opponent. Don't abuse rhetoric. -- SunirShah

Yeah. This is an interesting issue, and one that of course wikis are still working out (i.e. Where and how much scope to provide for conversation?).

I think I agree with Sunir here -- if you know beforehand that what you write here is part of a larger conversation spanning multiple wikis and that no one but you and the others you are talking to will understand it, save the rest of us ignorant folks time by either writing misinterpretable parts on each others' namepages, or by giving us context with which to understand. If you didn't realize beforehand that what you wrote might be misunderstood by others, but rather find out later, perhaps you could refactor your comments to (re)move the confusing parts?

Otherwise, as happened here, we'll innocently blunder in and try to mediate between the conversants and to get the converation to conform to our stylistic standards, which is a waste of time for all.

Thanks -- BayleShanks

You might be right, right for here on meatball. I just fought myself trough http://www.emacswiki.org/cgi-bin/community-de/SetBasedNamespace on Community Wiki, and as Lion's brain was after writing it now mine is abbaing a bit after readin it. Maybe what I did here - putting my conversation with Helmut above the borders of meatball has to do with it. It would be possible that keeping my conversation with Helmut fluent (meta-wikiwide) is more efficient to the community than sticking to the (local) rule of keeping text understandable for everyone here. It is though not inunderstandable for you, it is a part of a whole. It might set free associations, and it might set free an interest to find out about the whole. It might set free a desire to step beyond the fence of local recent changes. Another possible answer thus could be: If we can't understand it here, give us links to get the whole. As far as you can call my taking decisions "concious" I did so here. It is a "conciously" executed disturbance of a commonly developed behaviour (or habit?), in order to make the "disturbed" community reflect and reorganize itself in a more efficient way. It has something in common with flashmob and relates to this page. I'm not into exaggeration, I'm into efficiency. MindTheGap! -- MattisManzel

It would be possible that keeping my conversation with Helmut fluent (meta-wikiwide) is more efficient to the community than sticking to the (local) rule of keeping text understandable for everyone here. It is though not inunderstandable for you, it is a part of a whole.
...
If we can't understand it here, give us links to get the whole.

I think that giving links is a often good solution. -- BayleShanks

FlashMobWiki? is up http://flashmob.wiki.taoriver.net/. Global FlashMob #2 is sceduled for 19th of June 2004 040529 -- MattisManzel


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