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Flashmob- Technology and Org Culture without an Organization? February 23, 2007

Posted by Jordi in Networks, Organizational Culture, Social Networking Sites, Technology.

A UC Davis student  using Facebook apparently, organized (or “organized”?  sparked?) a flashmob earlier this month.  What is a flash mob?

Flashmob – Davis Wiki
A [wikipedia]flashmob is a group of people who are quietly organized, usually through the help of the Internet or other digital communications, to perform a public act. The act is usually odd or striking and involves many people who may have never met each other before the gathering. To the public, no explanation is given and the mob disperses after performing the act.

Over 1000 people gathered.  They chanted “ATM! ATM!” and then dispersed.  Why?  I am not sure.  Maybe one of you can figure out.  Flash mobs are also called swarm intelligence or emergent behavior.  Perhaps the same pyschology of stock bubbles or fashion fads is at work on a more localized level?

Here is the video link.

Is this an example of culture in action?  How does the technology of Facebook influence the culture?  Is his an example of organizational culture without an organization?



1. Janine - February 25, 2007

This is an interesting clip. I have to admit, it does not make too much sense. Yet, what I do think it shows is the power of the internet, specifically facebook. Facebook isa very influential way to gather action, participation and feedback. On every college campus today, thousands of students are part of the facebook culture. You can go online and be invited to events(concerts, parties, club events, etc). If one wanted to influence the culture of his or her particular campus in some way, facebook is a lucrative way to do just that.
However, I do not think that this flashmob represents orgo culture without the organization. All these students are part of an organization, UC Davis. And this is not the best reflection of this campus’s culture. Culture is an organization’s ideology, norms, values, etc made up together to form the organization’s work environment. This flashmob was a temporary action movement. It is fleeting; it will not stand in time. It is something that the participants can look back on and think about, but my guess is that most did not even know the purpose behind it all. So how can it really affect the culture of UC Davis if this flashmob is a one time thing and its message is not cleary understood.

2. Stephanie - February 25, 2007

Although I am not sure about the purpose of this gathering, my first reaction to reading the post was a connection to the 1960’s non-violent sit-ins and demonstrations. I am taking a 60’s culture class this semester and we are beginning to discuss the power the student body had on the Civil Rights Movement, Anti-war movement and nonconformity as a whole. As there were clear motives and a purpose for the student activists in the 1960’s, they were extremely influential and gained national media coverage.

Before this blog, I had never heard of a flashmobs. I wish their purposes were known as then more groups around the country or even the world could join the cause, that is if there is one. Many people say that students today are less engaged in activism and politics than they were in the 1960s. Do you think this is true? Do students just not have anything for which to stand up? Are there no controversial topics today?

3. Brian Mulligan - February 28, 2007

Wow, that video was pretty crazy.

The flashmob idea is just an example of how technology is becoming such a large part of our lives and is connecting us even more. This was probably a random facebook event that was created for no reason or it could just been a display of how we are able to communicate with each other through so many different mediums like facebook or myspace.

I feel that there are controversial topics in todays society. I feel that the Plan for Bucknell may be a controversial topic amongst students, but they are too complacent and uninformed about the current political scene at this university.

These flashmobs may serve a purpose in the future, but that video just showed students that were excited that it acutally worked.

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