Prev topicNext topicHelp

Topic 73 of 108: smart mobs

Tue, Jul 23, 2002 (08:08) | Paul Terry Walhus (terry)
The NY Times carried this story:

Motivating the Masses, Wirelessly

Smart Mobs." The odd phrase might bring to mind rowdies partying after
the Harvard-Yale football game. But, in fact, it has been coined by
the author Howard Rheingold to describe groups of people equipped with
high-tech communications devices that allow them to act in concert
whether they know each other or not.

The rest at

smart mobs
9 responses total.

 Topic 73 of 108 [news]: smart mobs
 Response 1 of 9: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Tue, Jul 23, 2002 (08:09) * 6 lines 
This phenomenon is showing up among teens in tech meccas like Tokyo, where wireless text messages have caught on in a big way. American hip-hop fans, using two-way pagers, spontaneously appear for parties. And in Finland, members of a local cooperative mix the virtual and the physical by communicating via pagers and cellphones to meet at their club.

It's not all fun and games. Smart mobs in Manila contributed to the overthrow of President Joseph Estrada in 2001 by organizing demonstrations via forwarded cellphone text messages. Protesters at the World Trade Organization gathering in Seattle in 1999 were able to check into a sprawling electronic network to see which way the tear gas was blowing. Or they could use the network to determine their preferred level of involvement: nonviolent demonstrations, civil disobedience or mass arrests. The Sept. 11 terrorists used such devices to plan and coordinate their attack, and the victims used them to convey information and, in the case of United Airlines flight 93, learned of the other attacks and took action that may have prevented even more devastation.

from the above quoted NY Times article

 Topic 73 of 108 [news]: smart mobs
 Response 2 of 9: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Tue, Jul 23, 2002 (08:29) * 1 lines 
Jyri Engestrom, however, would not agree. He is a founder of Aula, a three-year-old cooperative in Finland that provides a physical meeting place to augment the virtual community. The city already had Internet cafes when the group started, he said. "What was missing was not a new Internet cafe," he said, "but a community, or network" where artists, business people and geeks could meet, talk, share ideas and have fun. Mr. Engestrom said the group planned to expand to other places as well, including a local cafe. Aula now has nearly 500 members, he said, with radio frequency ID tags that let them into the Aula meeting space and let others know they are there. "We're using digital technology in our case to enhance community-building in the wild, in the physical world," he said.

 Topic 73 of 108 [news]: smart mobs
 Response 3 of 9: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Tue, Jul 23, 2002 (08:36) * 21 lines 
Howard Rheingold's article on this is the seminal piece.

Mobile Virtual Communities Publish date: 20.08.2001

By Howard Rheingold

Five years from now, the innovations of today's early adopters could become part of the everyday lives of hundreds of millions of people:

Jyri Engestrom is opening a social club (pdf) in the middle of downtown Helsinki that combines physical location, virtual community, and sms messaging.

In Stockholm, Styrbjorn Horn has created a mobile chat platform for teenagers who already use sms to "swarm" as social groups in the physical world.

Last Monday, Rickard Ericsson's "Lunarstorm," a virtual community that has captured the attention of more than 60% of Sweden's 15-25 year old population, added a mobile extension to its web-pages, bulletin boards, and chat rooms. Lunarstorm now provides its own SIM cards to enhance its mobile services in ways they couldn't with traditional operator agreements. LunarMobil works like an ordinary mobile operator with one important difference; the company provides you with a unique "remote control" for your Lunarstorm-presence and activities. Anything you could do on, you could do from your mobile phone using standard SMS-messages.

 Topic 73 of 108 [news]: smart mobs
 Response 4 of 9: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Wed, Jul 24, 2002 (09:48) * 6 lines 
I joined today and signed up for a few mobs.

My upoc address is

I think if you send email there it will pop up on my cell phone.

 Topic 73 of 108 [news]: smart mobs
 Response 5 of 9: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Wed, Jul 24, 2002 (10:01) * 1 lines 
I started springmob, you can join it on

 Topic 73 of 108 [news]: smart mobs
 Response 6 of 9: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Wed, Jul 24, 2002 (10:05) * 5 lines 
group name: springmob
group email:
group url:
group description: mob online virtual community Colin
Firth and Jane Austen discussions dominate

 Topic 73 of 108 [news]: smart mobs
 Response 7 of 9: Arabella Clausen (arabella) * Sat, Aug  3, 2002 (12:40) * 3 lines 

Oh, I'll check that out. How many members do you have so far?

 Topic 73 of 108 [news]: smart mobs
 Response 8 of 9: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Mon, Aug  5, 2002 (09:09) * 1 lines 
I'll have to revisit it to see. I joined, and then unjoined a bunch of Austin mobs (when I saw how lame the conversation was!).

 Topic 73 of 108 [news]: smart mobs
 Response 9 of 9: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Sat, Nov  2, 2002 (08:01) * 27 lines 
Seattle newspaper:

When the majority of the world's urban population is constantly connected
to each other and the Internet via cellphones, laptops and even cybernetic
accessories, are we diving headlong into a dystopian, "Blade Runner"

Howard Rheingold argues emphatically no in his new book "Smart Mobs: The
Next Social Revolution" (Perseus, $26), eschewing the usual dire
predictions while examining the many new forms of group interaction
facilitated by always-on Internet and cell networks. Cooperation is the
underpinning of the origins of society itself, he says, and is no less a
part of emerging digital culture.

Rheingold's tone of almost unrelenting optimism permeates this worldwide
examination of changes in social and political order under way through
such simple technologies as short-text messaging with cellphones and
low-power wireless networks set up by activists and hobbyists.

If spam doesn't take over and if mobs turn out 'dumb' we're in for a
less optimistic future. So far, I've had to turn off the mobs on my cell
phone as there's too much going on with it now and the mobs definitely
aren't 'smart'. At least the ones Howard recommends.

Prev topicNext topicHelp

news conference Main Menu