I don’t know about you, but I'm always amazed when I discover new "aspects" to people I know. For example, let's take my chum Adam Taylor. Adam and I we went to the same University (although Adam came a few years behind me) and now Adam is a blogger on the new All Programmable Planet website for which I am Editor-in-Chief (I do like that title :-)
Anyway, in a recent conversation, Adam causally mentioned that amongst myriad other activities, he is the co-owner and chief PHP coder for the Tweetathief website.
Well, needless to say I was intrigued, so I asked Adam to throw a few words together to explain this in more detail so I could share it and spread the word. Adam responded as follows:
Social media has, over the last few years, become a part of many people’s lives. with 000..000s connecting on Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin etc. Furthermore, the advent of Smartphone’s has enabled people to maintain connection with these social media networks whilst they are out and about.
People use social media for multiple purposes, from talking about the happenings of their everyday lives, to raising awareness of child soldiers in Africa (Kony 2012). Now, posting notices for missing, lost, and stolen items, pets, and persons is becoming increasingly popular.
Tweetathiefwas established in 2011 to provide a central portal for people to post about lost and stolen items, pets, or people – trying to raise awareness of the loss through the power of social media. It was founded following the creators' reading several newspaper stories on individuals using social media to recover missing items and to track down lost pets or missing loved ones.
The creators realized that, in each of these cases, the person making the appeal had to ask friends and family to spread word of their loss. Typically, this loss was only ever posted on one social media site such as Facebook or Twitter. Some of these individual appeals became successful when momentum had built behind the idea, for example:-
- Comedian Dane Cook Finds Dog Via Twitter (Click Here)
- Messenger finds lost bike Via Twitter (Click Here)
- UK boy finds lost pet Via Twitter (Click Here)
- Irish Man finds cat Via Twitter (Click Here)
- Train Conductor finds Engagement Ring Via Twitter (Click Here)
The idea behind Tweetathief was to create a site which could automatically cross-post to multiple social media networks along with traditional email and RSS feeds, thereby enabling peoples' losses to be spread far and wide and increasing the number of people made aware of the loss.
Tweetathief comes with an expanding, readymade number of followers who are interested in keeping an eye out for the missing items, thereby saving people the need to build up a following (of course they invariably continue to share with their friends and family). Using Tweetathief, people have the ability, if local laws permit, to offer rewards for information that leads to the safe return of their missing items, thus engaging people in the process and motivating folk to keep their eyes and ears open for the missing items.
Since the beta launch of the service in 2011, uptake has been good, whilst the system has undergone continued development and further refinement. The next steps for the site include raising awareness of the portal and building a following across social media networks, thereby increasing the number of people keeping an eye out for lost, stolen and missing items.
Well, as I say, I'm constantly surprised by the things I discover that my friends are getting up to. If you wish, you can follow Tweetathief at http://tweetathief.com
from whence you too can join the search.
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