If you visit the Mediamatic website/network, one of the largest cultural networking sites in the Netherlands, you will have probably spotted them: pictures of people with gnome hats on.

During the 2009 PicNic Conference we participated in the Mediamatic Social RFID hackercamp.

In three days groups of talented nerds and creative develop installations for the festival that offer people excuses to be social. All installations build on the fact that every festival visitor gets an RFID tag (in the shape of a little heart) that is connected to their online profile.

Gnome hats contest
At the festival 4 gnome hats handed out: two red and two blue ones. If you took a picture with the gnomehat at one of the RFID enabled photobooths, you would immediately become “friends” with the hat. The goal was to split the festival participants into two camps (red and blue) that would try to get as many people to befriend their color gnome hats.

In the end over 500 people took a picture with a red or blue hat. The red hats won.

The concept was pushed in the right direction by Willem Velthoven, for which we are much obliged.

More pictures
To view more pictures, just visit the profile pages of the red and blue gnome hats. Unfortunately, after the festival, Mediamatic disconnected most of the friendships for some reason, leading tot the loss of almost all of the hat’s friends.