December 20, 2007

What frozen peas can teach us…

If you’re in the twittersphere lately, you will have noticed that some of the most prominent 2.0 figures have traded their traditional photos for… well, peas. Peas as wigs. Peas as backgrounds. Pea pods as dresses. Peas as their profile photo altogether.

To me, the mystery was solved thanks to a twitter question, and subsequent answer, by Dave Weiner yesterday

Here’s the story:

Susan Reynolds was, until earlier this month, an artist and media consultant from Washington DC. Some two weeks ago, she found a lump in her chest and found herself undergoing numerous tests (including biopsies) that would later tell her she had breast cancer. To cope with the immediate pain of the scars those tests left, she grabbed a bag of frozen peas and stuck them into her bra.

She very candidly began blogging about her experience in, which has, two weeks later, she has generated somewhat of a cult following.

As she writes in her blog,

- A bag of peas was something
everybody could relate to.
- Some people love them,
some hate them, some use them for their own injuries.
- A bag of frozen peas was a
vehicle for conversation and let people tease me instead of having to cry.
- It let people share
instead of bemoaning.
With the viral spreading and speed that only Web 2.0 can offer, today there’s a group in Flickr where you can upload your own FrozenPea “pea-vatars.” There’s also a FrozenPea Fund for cancer research started by her friends (which is due to launch tomorrow, Dec 21st).

So in just a little over two weeks, a growing list of little known and well-known bloggers alike have taken the “pink ribbon” cause and given it a funny, personal, whimsical makeover. And people are buying into it.

Case in point: Robert Scoble (Scobleizer blog) thinks about the Davos question " how to save the world?" His answer: Peas.
(photo credit: Goldie Katsu )

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