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Use Flickr For Online Flash Mob

February 12, 2008 by  

ExperimentHere’s an interesting social media experiment I observed on Friday. Someone I “follow” on Twitter (Chris Pirillo) posted an urgent comment “I need a 100 comments ASAP” with a URL.

I was intrigued and clicked through to find photo with 3 or 4 comments layered on it. So I added my own and refreshed the page several times over the next hour to see what others did.

Flickr experiment 400×430If you mouse over the photo, you’ll reveal the (humorous and snarky) comments. Logged-in Flickr users could add any number of comments anywhere on the photo. This photo was viewed over 200 times and a few dozen comments added to the photo — mostly within the hour after posting the initial message on Twitter. As of now, it’s up to 388 views.

Those numbers might seem low, but think about it. Chris essentially mobilized a “flash mob” to appear at a destination, take action and go back to their own business.

For a brand, we might create a series of photos with very subtle brand references. You can’t control the conversation. But if it doesn’t seem overtly branded, it could be interesting to see the originality of the participants. Could even make a mini-contest to solicit opinions.

Just something to think about.
-Roland

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