Here is a new addition to the list of reasons why people decide to move to Finland: by popular vote. An Australian couple currently struggling with the decision whether to move to Finland or stay Down Under is letting random Facebook users decide. Promising to move to Finland if they can muster the support of one million users, they’ve set up a Facebook group that currently boasts 90,000 members.

Facebook is, of course, ripe with such groups. There are currently over 300 “if one million join...” groups, most of which are simple clones of each other and have only managed to attract a meagre few dozen supporters. The fad is ostensibly a Facebook-extension of the classic dare, whereby an individual gathers enough peer pressure to do something silly and in return gets attention bestowed upon himself. Most groups, of course, fall into the incredibly imaginative category of “if one million people join, then nothing will happen.”

Is Finland really such a bizarre place that moving here is a dare on par with streaking in front of Vladimir Putin, or eating a television set (both of which are promised to us if only enough eggers-on turn up)? But what’s most heart-warming about the group is the way it has activated Finns and Finland-enthusiasts to show their love for the country. Photos, links and personal messages welcoming the elusive Aussies to Finland far outweigh the discouragements. Now that’s viral marketing at work.

Matti Koskinen