Let's just keep this about the internet sensation of planking as exemplified by the pictures posted by ozgeorge and end all further discussion on the...ahem...other possible meanings of the term. No harm, no foul, as of yet, and let's keep it that way.
How did planking start in Australia anyway?
Planking in Australia is a Facebook phenomenon which took off in 2009, but has much earlier roots. Actually, it began 12 years ago among two young people in Southwest England who called it "The Lying Down Game
". Here is a news report about it two years ago: http://www.thestar.com/news/insight/article/697355
What is interesting from a sociological point of view is, firstly, how quickly the phenomenon spread in Australia (over a matter of weeks thanks to Facebook), which makes interesting study in terms of Social Network Theory
. Secondly, the reaction of the authorities to the phenomenon this year smacked of tremendous fear of it. For example in May this year the media was in an uproar about it and people were fired from their jobs for posting photos of themselves planking - even on their own time, police issued statements warning people not to plank etc. It was almost as if the status quo feared that planking was the end of social order in Australia as we know it. This reaction of the authorities is also an example of the power of Social Networks because currently, Social Networks cannot be controlled by the Authorities (which always react with fear and suppression to what they can't control, especially if it can challenge power and authority by refusing to submit). The phenomenon of planking continues to be popular in Australia with an average of over 30 planking photos per hour being posted to the "Planking Australia" Facebook Page
and over 13,000,000 post views per month (the population of Australia is 22,000,000, so 13,000,000 represents over half the population).