Social Networks Experiment: $40,000 for Ten Red Balloons

Thursday, December 03, 2009

The US Department of Defense is launching a bizarre experiment in social networking this weekend. They're putting up 10 giant red weather balloons across the country, and they're asking regular folks to find them. The point? To study how we can work together on sites like Twitter and Facebook to solve problems. Whichever team finds all 10 balloons first wins $40,000.

Takeaway tech Baratunde Thurston and Peter Lee, the Director of the Transformational Convergence Technology Office, at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, also known as DARPA, explain why social networking and whimsical red balloons will be all the rage this weekend.


Peter Lee and Baratunde Thurston


Jen Poyant

Comments [3]


This team seems to be the most organized so far:

Dec. 04 2009 06:32 PM
MK Ultra

And not satisfied with the gazillions of ill-spent taxpayer dollars in warmongering in the Middle East, the Department of Defense decides to play with red balloons.

Dec. 03 2009 10:03 PM
Paul Anderson

So, when does the movie come out? I wonder if these geniuses ever saw such classics as "It's A Mad, Mad, Mad Mad, World", "Twenty Bucks" and "The Great Race"?
If prize money is involved here, the last thing some individuals are going to do is cooperate using a social networking site. If these are balloons being release all around the country and if one can get a group of people together and agree to assist one another in finding them how are those people going to split the proceeds?

This is our tax dollars at work here.

Dec. 03 2009 03:53 PM

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