I haven't even got to page 7 of Mark Earl's new book, Herd, and I already know it's going to be a great ride. For someone with a nagging tendency to think in terms of crowds (the DJ thing again) this book is perfect. Human behaviour only makes sense to me when it's explained as group behaviour. It's an orientation I couldn't change if I tried. So how happy am I when I read things like this, right in the introduction?
"we are a we-species who do individually what we do largely because of each other".
It's what attracts me to ideas like iconic brands, cultural movements and more recently, trying to understand how networked communication is changing what "each other" means. The crowd is much different today than it was just 10 years ago, thanks to all of the changes we always go on about with the "creolization" of media.
Small personal anectode: I've had dozens of promoters and club owners pick my brain over the years about what it takes to get people to come out to their party. They all look for the silver bullet, all the time. Too bad they're always dissapointed when I tell them that I only really know one thing for sure: people like to go where there are other people.