'Flash Mob' is the collective noun for a group of people who, having arrived in a predetermined location, perform an action of some sort for a short amount of time and then disperse. Organising a Flash Mob is generally done via Email
with instructions sent out to various people detailing the meeting place and the action they should perform upon arrival.
‘Flash Mob’ was most likely coined from two other phrases:
Flash Crowd: An overwhelming increase in the number of web users attempting to access a web site. This tends to occur after an announcement is made or noteworthy news story reported on the site.
Smart Mob: A group of people whose activities and movements are coordinated using modern technologies such as the Internet or cell phones. A good example is soccer hooligans in the United Kingdom whose methods are becoming increasingly sophisticated.
An example of a Flash Mob occurred recently in Manhattan (where the first Flash Mob took place) when a group of individuals (between 300 and 500) congregated in the lobby of The Hyatt Hotel before applauding loudly for 15 seconds. They then filed out into the street.
Europe’s first Flash Mob was in Rome. In this instance roughly 300 people descended on a books and music store. They proceeded to ask staff for non-existent books before bursting into spontaneous applause. A few moments later they left.
The reasons behind Flash Mobs are not completely clear, it could be a type of performance art or proof that some people have a little too much time on their hands, but it seems as if it is simply the actions of people who enjoying confusing hotel staff and carpet salesmen. To which I say, fair enough.
Flash Mobs are also known as Inexplicable Mobs. Anyone wishing to see photographs of the two ‘Mobs’ detailed above should visit Cheesebikini.com.