Lady Gaga’s mob of 6.3 “lil monsters”
September 18th, 2010


In Yahoo! today Holly Bailey asks a very interesting question:

Can Lady Gaga succeed where gay rights activists in Washington so far have failed?

Everybody’s favorite hangar-steak-wearing pop queen is pushing her more than 6.3 million Twitter followers to lobby the Senate ahead of a planned vote this Tuesday on repealing the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy,  which bans gay members of the military from serving openly.

On Tuesday, Gaga, via Twitter, encouraged her “lil monsters” — as she refers to her legion of fans — to call Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to schedule the vote. Reid promptly did and subsequently announced this in a Twitter message to Gaga herself. “Anyone qualified to serve this country should be allowed to do so,” Reid wrote.

Is there something smart mobby about what Lady Gaga is doing, or is she just using her extensive list of fans to urge them to act politically? As American politics goes into higher and higher gear, the roll of old fashioned lists versus smart mobs will be one of the most fascinating phenomena to watch.

It seems to me that the 6.3 “lil monsters” are unlikely to act much as a mob, either a smart or dumb one. They are — at least in the instance described above — receiving a request from the person at the top about whom they are gaga. She hopes they will individually call their representatives in Washington.

Things get more smart mobby and more exciting when action is stirred up from the bottom and there are lateral networking connections. An example of that would be a cluster of Tea Party folk at a rally exchanging each other’s contact information so they can keep on interacting in the future.Certainly Twittering is a mighty powerful lateral communication tool which will bring smart mobbing more and more into the political arena. Lady Gaga has only scratched the surface by sending a top down message to all her “lil” monsters.

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