Social Media Expert talking about Facebook Flash Mobs on BBC Radio York
One of the social media experts here at Mixd in Harrogate, Phil Shackleton, was asked to go on BBC Radio York’s Breakfast News to comment on York Flash Mob and the controversy the organisers of a mass pillow fight have caused with the announcement of their next event using the social network, Facebook.
The group has announced they intend to light up the skies of York at the end of August to mark the end of summer, and in memory or celebration of a loved one. Martyn Clayton is one of the flash mob organisers, and said he hoped people would join in the event on August 29, at 9.30pm, wherever they were.
“It’s called ‘The Night Of A Thousand Lanterns’ but it’s extremely unlikely there will be a thousand. More like a hundred or so,” said Martyn, 36.
“The idea is that people can light a lantern in their own back garden or in a public space at the same moment as other people are doing so across the city and beyond.”
Quickly picking up on the story, BBC Radio York were interested to hear our opinion about the difference social networking is making for groups such as this and why ‘Flash Mobbing’ is the latest craze.
So what is a Flash Mob?
Basically… a large group of people who assemble suddenly in a public place, perform an unusual and pointless act for a brief time, then disperse. It’s that simple and perhaps because of this it is easy to see why Flash Mobbing has become so popular.
Has it happened before?
Yes, the concept of a Flash Mob has been around for several years now (the first Flash Mob was created in Manhattan in 2003). However, perhaps the most well know incident in the UK was when thousands of people jammed a major London train station in a Facebook-driven ‘flashmob’ mimicking an advertisement for T-Mobile.
Is Facebook to blame?
Mixd discovered there are at least 500 Flash Mob groups currently on Facebook. I think the key point here is that social networks such as Facebook and Twitter are making it much easier for people to be heard and in particular, organise such events with some level of anonymity. On the whole, Flash Mobbing is really just a bit of fun and it is down to us to consider the legal implications of our own actions. Be warned!
Anyway, must dash… Pass the Fairy, I’m off to an impromptu, mass bubble blowing session down on The Stray.