Sunday, February 7, 2010

The First Online Social Media Snowball Fight?

Amid the Snowmageddon pandemonium of this weekend, and news of lost power, stalled public transportation, downed trees and Starbucks closings, something spectacular happened at the intersection of online social media and frozen precipitation. Upwards of 3,000 people organized and staged a massive snowball fight in Dupont Circle on Saturday using online social media as the sole organizing strategy. The brawl began as an event on Facebook, established the Thursday before the storm. Word of the event spread to Twitter, and for most of Friday night and Saturday, the website's new local trending topics feature showed that both "Dupont Circle Snowball Fight" and "#dupontcircle" were some of the most typed phrases by Twitter users for nearly 24 hours.

As far as I'm aware of, a flashmob snowball fight of this magnitude has never been organized using Facebook and Twitter before. The success of the event is a testament to the power of online social media to spread information, organize, and mobilize. Even if the event in discussion was not of a particularly noble cause, it's manifestation proved the power of Facebook, and especially Twitter, to motivate people at a grassroots level to act.

Here is a video of the snowball fight that shows the scope of the huge gathering (credit to YouTube user goodboydc).

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