I saw a commercial a while back that featured one lone fellow showing up for a flashmob in a busy train station. I scratched my head and made a mental to-do to look up flashmob in Wikipedia or the Urban Dictionary, then forgot all about it.
Last night I watched Howie Mandel’s show Mobbed while on the telephone for NINETY FREAKIN’ MINUTES listening to some airlines ticketing trainee mutter as she hunted and pecked at her computer and talked to her supervisor every few minutes. She sounded seventy at least. Bless her heart, though, I couldn’t get mad at her, as aggravated as I was, so this post and the whole flashmob concept will most likely bear the brunt of that suppressed curmudgeonly energy.
Back to the topic. What the hell is a flashmob? And is it flash mob or flashmob? Who thought up such a lemming-like concept? Did they laugh the first time they conned the other kids into doing something stupid? I would have. Actually, in hind sight, I remember organizing one of these random events…in the seventh grade!
I tried to start a virtual flashmob on Twitter last night and, not surprisingly, no one joined in but a couple of Twitter BFF’s who rolled their eyes but at least attempted to humor me. Not even the spammers chimed in. I tweeted that I’d started doing the Thriller dance…only no one else danced with me, people just zoomed on by…and tweeted about other things. Le sigh.
So I got to thinking that publishing a book is kind of like organizing a flashmob. You hope people show up. You hope people “get it”. You hope you aren’t the only idiot doing a dance from the eighties like a Filipino prisoner. You hope they buy your book, and others see them buying and think it looks fun so they also buy…and they wave over their passing friends and they buy…and so on and so on.
Because nobody wants to dance alone and either go unnoticed or be mocked for getting the steps wrong, having bad rhythm, or just plain looking like a dork.
On April 16, 2012, I’m having a flashmob. I hope you’ll come and dance with me…and Gayle and Jon and maybe a couple of inept bad guys in suits, a vagabond Siamese cat and a very unusual car. We’ll be the ones wearing orange prisoner jumpsuits. 🙂
- Social Media: What is Flashmob-ertising? (generousmarketing.wordpress.com)
- Flashmob ‘Soul Train’ line honors Don Cornelius in New York’s Times Square (photoblog.msnbc.msn.com)