Lost and Found

by Mike on 3/12/2007

in SxSW

Yesterday morning I got up from my second panel and realized my wallet was missing.

I immediately sent out a Twitter request, slightly vague, on purpose. The guy sitting behind me had found my wallet, and turned it in to the proper authorities. Then, seeing my note, he replied.

I wasn’t seeing his messages because I wasn’t following him on Twitter, but he saw my follow-up broadcast and found me in the hall anxiously talking to my wife on the phone about how to fly home without my ID. He stopped to tell me in person that he had found my wallet and turned it in. A few short minutes later, I had retrieved the lost item – cash, ID, and everything else intact, of course – and made a celebratory announcement.

At full functionality, this may be the conference equivalent of an Amber Alert, and is probably the best way I’ve yet heard of using Twitter.

UPDATE: I also want to mention that the SxSW staff took this extremely seriously and were very helpful at every opportunity – even to the point where, the day after I had found my wallet, two of the staff who had my phone number but didn’t yet know about my good news called to follow up and offer additional possible solutions. Kudos to them, too!

  • http://techjive.net/ Jason

    Glad to hear that your wallet was safely found and returned. I’d say that this type of alert using Twitter should be named after you. “Mike Alert” doesn’t roll off the tongue quite like Amber Alert. Or possibly after Scott Kveton, the wallet finder. Perhaps a “Kveton Call” — or Kall to keep up the alliteration — to indicate a call out for help.

  • http://techjive.net Jason

    Glad to hear that your wallet was safely found and returned. I’d say that this type of alert using Twitter should be named after you. “Mike Alert” doesn’t roll off the tongue quite like Amber Alert. Or possibly after Scott Kveton, the wallet finder. Perhaps a “Kveton Call” — or Kall to keep up the alliteration — to indicate a call out for help.

  • http://again.bluesilver.org/ Dreama

    When Twitter rapidly devolved into a weird public chat system, then got very quiet when so many realized that they’d taken its application a bit too far, I wondered if it was ever really going to find its stride and provide an actual service. I think this is an example of how to purpose Twitter toward the good. Congrats to you and kudos to Mr. Kenton for being a good guy.

  • http://again.bluesilver.org/ Dreama

    When Twitter rapidly devolved into a weird public chat system, then got very quiet when so many realized that they’d taken its application a bit too far, I wondered if it was ever really going to find its stride and provide an actual service. I think this is an example of how to purpose Twitter toward the good. Congrats to you and kudos to Mr. Kenton for being a good guy.

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