I came across the following article today, our last day before the Christmas holiday break. If ever an article deserved a blog post, it's this one. Expert: Roseville Galleria paid no attention to social media for flash mob The article talks about a flash mob that occurred in a mall in Roseville, CA. This resulted in overloading in the food court, some "popping sounds", and the "floor shifting". There is a certain amount of question as to the "purity" of the flash behind this flash mob. (Given that the mall supposedly issued a press release about it 3 days ahead of time, along with other things). The author attempts to make the case that by monitoring social media, the mall could have gotten a handle on how many people were going to come and Do Something About It. Ok, I agree that monitoring for buzz is a useful tool to prepare yourself, and social media is a great way to keep your finger on the pulse. And, yes, if you were able to compare the amount of buzz this was getting compared to, say, some other event that you'd announced, you could plan for extra security and such. However, watching the pulse of social media does NOTHING for you if you aren't prepared in other operational ways to deal with situations. I think the question that should be asked is "Why wasn't the mall equipped to deal with a larger than expected crowd in ways other than 'evacuate everyone'?" I would suggest that they first need to really review their emergency preparedness plans. And perhaps part of a better process is a better listening strategy. I bet they listen to the weather, and I also bet that their parking lots are free of snow for the shoppers. That's because the operational weight is set behind the folks keeping the parking lot open for people to park. They need similar thinking for other aspects of their operations. We can give you really, really great data. We can help you get visibility into areas of your business that you haven't previously seen into. However, *you should have at least some ideas about what you plan to do with the results before engaging in an kind of monitoring/listening program*. Listening should not be a thing in and of itself. Even though listening is important, if all you do is listen, you aren't doing anything about what you're hearing.