Friday, April 01, 2005

The People's Network - Drew Turney

via Smartmobs

An interesting article on the rise of mobile communications and community of the new "mob." Originally published in the December 2004 edition of Internet dot au, the author interviewed people such as author Howard Rheingold.

"The story was devised, interviews conducted and research compiled over mobile and fixed-line phone, email, posts to online forums & email mailing lists and SMS – with respondents in Sydney, Perth, the United States, Berlin, Amsterdam and St Petersburg."


"But just like it was during the early days of the telephone, telegraph and printing press, only one thing will promote the next social revolution people like Howard Rheingold believe is coming. People are people; new gadgets will not make us better people (as terrorists the world over have shown), and making us politically inclined will take more than a smart phone.

But those who are active or aware – not just of political issues but the power of information in the palm of your hand - will drive the future of communications. “If you’re addicted to email,” Rheingold says, “wait until you find out you can check it on the train, waiting in line at the bank or sitting in the airport waiting for your flight.”

Of course, then there’s the possibility that eye contact with strangers will be a thing of the past as everyone walks around staring at their mobile…"

As a way of socialising modern communications technology I'm getting kind of enamoured by the concept of flash mobs, a semi-organised event where a group of disparate people come together at a pre-organised time and place, perform an action, then move on.

"Tempest Waters, who works as a consultant in the packaging industry and describes herself as a child of the sixties, seemed bemused when I asked her what the appeal was. 'Goodness! What doesn’t appeal?' says Waters, who ‘flashes’ every two or three weeks.

'We laugh for whole city blocks after an event. One woman burst into applause as we left. Another [mobber] said it was the most empowering thing she’s ever done. One of our regulars is in her late 50's and claims it’s the best exercise she gets all week. Also, a benefit we hadn’t expected is that we’ve all made friends doing this, people with whom you have nothing in common except for mobbing.' "

Regular visitors to this site will know about Mobile Clubbing, where people arrive at a pre-determined location, such as a train station, with their own personal music playback equipment (Walkman, IPod, etc) and just dance.

If you feel the need for gratuitous and pointless social gathering, let me know. I'm keen to get some Brisbane Flash Mob action happening (even if it is a little "2003" by now).

The People's Network - Drew Turney

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