Planning a picnic? Not sure whom to invite? Programmer and social scientist Conrad Barski solved this age-old problem the hard way: He created Picnicmob, an application that merges the flash mob with social networking.

You take a quiz that gauges your interests, and you receive a map of a public park, telling you where to set up your picnic on a particular day. In theory, you then find yourself surrounded by like-minded picnickers, and you should all have plenty to talk about.

Right now, picnicmobs are being planned for Boston, New York City, Washington, DC, Chicago, and San Francisco. Metroblogging, for one, is throwing down the blanket challenge in DC. There’s just one plausible next step, in my eyes: a nationwide potluckmob.

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