Cash mob will hit Plaza on Saturday
The mob is descending on the Plaza this weekend. The second organized cash mob in two weeks will hit a local business. But unlike baseball bat-brandishing mobsters who go by names like “Knuckles,” these cash mobsters come clutching bills to spend.
For the uninitiated, a cash mob is a variant of a flash mob – a recent phenomenon in which people organize to appear at an appointed place and time for a usually comedic purpose, such as dancing in unison to the MC Hammer hit “Can’t Touch This.”
Flash mobs are generally organized using online tools and social media such as Facebook and Twitter and often seem to pop up spontaneously.
A cash mob takes this relatively frivolous pursuit and turns it into a way to help local businesses. People agree in advance to all go to one local shop at the same time and spend a predetermined amount of money.
The first Sonoma cash mob organized via a Facebook page and was scheduled to mob the Plaza last Saturday, Dec. 8. Sheila Martin, a Sonoman working in wine ecommerce in Napa, put that attempt together and seems undeterred by its low turnout. She saw a report on the news about cashmob.com, a sort of online clearinghouse and guide for organizing local mobs, and thought the idea was a great way to encourage people to shop locally and help businesses that might be struggling.
Her effort, which she put together by herself seemed to suffer from a lack of cohesion when participants couldn’t agree on a place to mob.
A second cash mob, this one organized Cynthia Tarr and Janice King, is planned for noon this Saturday, Dec. 15, when shoppers will spend at least $15 at one preselected local business.
About 40 people have rsvped for Saturday’s cash mob, King said, adding that she hoped to see close to 100 people come out.
The group is meeting on Saturday in the Sonoma Community Center parking lot at noon, when the local business where the mob will shop will be announced.
After two hours of shopping, the group will then meet at Murphy’s for an after-party and to celebrate.
More information can be found at facebook.com/cashmob.sonoma.