Turning the Mall into a community

obamanametagI heard about the great joint effort of MeetUp.com and the Huffington Post to distribute 500,000 name tags yesterday at the Inauguration in an effort to get the 1.8 million attendees to meet each other.  The name tags read “Hello my fellow American, my name is…”  Attendees were asked to write their name and where they were from, so other attendees could say, “Oh, you’re from Chicago, do know my cousin Harold.”

MeetUp founder Scott Heiferman and  Jeremy Heimans noted that: “We want to turn a crowd into a community. We all need a little reminder that we’re not just spectators and that Inauguration isn’t just for celebrities. We can look at each other, and not just at the Jumbotrons. As Obama says, “We’re the ones we’ve been waiting for.”


Waiting to hear from some of those at the Inauguration whether it really worked.  Look forward to any comments from attendees.

Apparently the back of name tag had a 4-point guide on how to strike up a conversation.  We assume it was more sophisticated than “Come Here Often?”

This may be the closest we’ve come yet to Joseph Porcelli’s vision of “National Name Tag Day.”

See also Nancy Sciola’s post on this for TechPresident.

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One response to “Turning the Mall into a community

  1. We received the nametags as we were walking toward the Mall early in the morning. We were delighted with what they said and the concept behind them. I can’t say that anyone specifically looked at my nametag and talked to me because of it, but I can say that we all talked to each other…about where we were from, about what was happening around us, and the Obamas. The entire Inaugural event was characterized by friendliness and comaraderie, and I think these nametags are just one more aspect of that. Thanks for the great idea and implementation!

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