Tuesday, June 08, 2010
Flash mobs raise umbrellas, awareness


On Friday, June 4, at exactly 1 p.m. about 200 people opened umbrellas and started dancing outside a restaurant in Elgin, Illinois, as the Rihanna song "Umbrella" blared from a portable stereo.  When the music stopped, everyone packed up their umbrellas and left while the curious lunchtime crowd watched and took pictures.


This festive scene repeated itself in cities across the United States including, Washington; Chicago, Illinois; Denver, Colorado; and Seattle, Washington.  It may have looked spontaneous, but organizer Sarah Evans says it took about a month to put Social Mob 4 Good events together.


Evans is a public relations and new media consultant in Elgin, and thought the flash mobs would be a good way to draw attention to the challenges local social service agencies are facing. She used facebook, a Google group, Twitter and other social media tools to recruit local organizers and coordinate the events.


Many participants used CNN iReport to spread the word about the flash mobs. You can go to the assignment page to see their photos and videos and learn more about some of the agencies they were supporting.


Nakeva Corothers says that her small group got a lot of double takes when they started dancing in Washington's DuPont Circle, but said they achieved their goal. "When the music started people stopped to hear and see what we were talking about under those twirling umbrellas," she said.


We thought this was a pretty interesting way to use social media, so we wanted to share it with you. If you're looking for ways to get involved in your community check out CNN's Impact Your World page.

June 8, 2010
Click to view Nakeva's profile

David, thank you for highlighting the project of sarah Evans and the efforts of the many #Somob4good Champions that lead the event for their city. It was a great experience in event planning, social media aggregation and social service awareness.

June 8, 2010
Click to view reesycup78's profile

I agree with Nakeva; we appreciate your support of #somob4good.  The event was a huge success and can't wait until we strike again!

June 8, 2010
Click to view ImpactMktPR's profile

Agree with Nakeva and reesycup78. Many thanks to Sarah Evans and the whole #Somob4good team who coordinated this initial #somob4good. Such a rewarding experience that recommend making this an annual event.

June 9, 2010
Click to view momomiester's profile

Hey narcissistic generation. Rather than doing a umbrella dance that serves no purpose try actually flashmobing and helping people. How bout flashmob down to the gulf and help clean up the spill or does it just have to be childish things? Gawd I miss the day of nerd beatdowns! lol

June 9, 2010
Click to view jimhill's profile

Oil spill

BP had to know the discharge pressure of the oil well before the explosion! So with a 21" ID pipe the spill rate should be easy to figure!Why is this figure so hard to bring to the public?

June 10, 2010
Click to view dolemike's profile

dumbest flash mob ever

June 11, 2010
Click to view ADP0223's profile

According to the headline, this flashmob event was to raise awareness.  I read through the article and see nothing about how awareness was raised or what, exactly, we are supposed to be aware of - just a vague reference to "challenges local social service agencies are facing."    In fact, the article pays more attention to the organizer, the spectacle and the crowd reaction than to any problems being faced by these "social service agencies." This is exactly the kind of  attention flashmobbers originally strove for when the phenomenon began.


Despite the headline proclaiming this flashmob to be morally superior to the self-absorbed versions we are used to, this article merely reinforces the popular view that flashmobbing is a narcissistic exercise for people with plenty of leisure time.  Organizer Sarah Evans has a lot of work ahead of her.

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