Monday, December 20, 2010

Roseville Galleria Struggles Under the Weight of a Flashmob

Tonight was supposed to be a memorable night for 500 to 1,000 people at the Roseville Galleria.  The idea, break out into song in the Food Court in an effort to spread some holiday cheer and perhaps break a flashmob world record.  The result however was an estimated crowd of 5,000 and as Westfield put it "The enthusiasm for the Hallelujah event tonight was far greater than anticipated by organizers," as the floor began to creak under the weight of the crowd the Roseville Fire Department was called in and the mall began to evacuate for the second time in two months (check out video of the crowd booing the announcement).

Social media takeaways:
- @scannerboy02 and @sacnews were the first "media outlets" (they supply video to most local TV stations) to report the news, a full 10+ minutes before any other representative from other major Sacramento news outlets (note this is only based on the reporters, assignment editors, producers and outlets I follow, which is a lot, but it may not be all of them). 
- Social media can be a lot like the childhood game of "Telephone" - granted I only saw one tweet that said it, but it was there for others to see.  It said that the Roseville Galleria floor had collapsed.  That was of course not true, but shows that news can quickly become rumor and not everything on Twitter should be trusted immediately.
- News organizations need help from the community to report the news.  Although it would be great if every news station had a photographer everywhere, every second of the day, the fact is they don't and they can't.  In many cases they need people with a smart phone to take pictures and send them in.  Within 30 minutes every Sacramento news outlet was asking for pictures and video, within an hour all had posted those pictures online and shared them with the community.
- A great event can become quite popular when friends share with other friends on Twitter, Facebook and other websites.

All in all, great reporting by the public and local news outlets. A note to future flashmob organizers, plan events for the ground floor.  Below is a video of what the event was supposed to look like.

*image from News10.net

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