This article seems to unveil how amusingly, endearingly pointless the Internet and social media can occasionally be, as well as exposing the hidden power of community. When something as simple as constantly streaming footage of a political yard sign can inspire so many and land in the Wall Street Journal, you know social media is either growing in power, or proving how utterly goofy we all can really be sometimes.
After a sign supporting Sen. Obama was repeatedly stolen by unknown thieves, one teenager in Portland, Oregon set up a web cam constantly trained on his family’s newly homemade sign.
And that’s it. A couple of political signs, some lawn jockeys and plenty of squirrels, 24-hours a day. And yet, the scene draws hudreds of viewers an hour worldwide, who have formed their own online community. Calling themselves CHAOS, “Citizens Hanging Around the Obama Sign,” the group keeps constant vigil.
So far the closest they’ve come to spotting thieves have been the frequent squirrel sightings and one close call with a couple of teenage girls, who seemed more interested in the lawn gnome (perhaps they wanted to use it to book an affordable vacation?).
Despite chuckling over the goofiness of the whole thing, I admit I watched the sign myself for a few minutes, and found it, and the idea, unreasonably riveting.
Does social media draw out the power of the ordinary? Certainly much of socializing online revolves around the mundane. Twitter is immersed in following a person’s every day life; their jobs, families, frustrations all become a part of the fabric of our social network.
Inanimate objects were clearly what was next. I just hope the new gnome sticks around longer, and that Travelocity doesn’t view this as a weird viral marketing opportunity.