Oh friends, if you had only heard the whining of former nay-sayers like @mari_posa and @jenternational when I first started using Twitter in February. Why does everyone need to know what I’m eating for lunch or when I have to go to the bathroom, they’d complain over and over again. Was it really necessary for me to tell the internet about that last gin and tonic I had? And now look at them, they’re both complete tweet tweekers.
I’m a big fan of Twitter even though I tend to use it much less these days than I once did. But it’s the potential of what we’ll be able to do with twitter in the future once we all start using it from our geo-located cell phones that really amazes me. (Check out Soyapi Mumba’s “The Potential of Twitter in Africa“, Andy Carvin’s “Can Twitter Save Lives?“, and Ethan Zuckerman’s “Never thought of using it that way…“.)
A lot of people still insist that it’s just not possible to say anything of usefulness or importance in less than 140 characters. I would counter that I’ve found many tweets to be both more useful and more informative than some three hour conversations I’ve had with verbal diarrheaists about absolutely nothing. Now from Bolivian blogger Aeromental, we discover yet another novel use of Twitter: recovering stolen vehicles.
Here is the original post in Spanish, and below, the translation into English:
I had commented before about the different uses people have made of a service as simple as Twitter. I already mentioned that they are publishing a novel using messages from 8 twitter accounts on a defined schedule.
Now I’m reading messages that report the theft of a car in Santiago, Chile. The craziest thing is that the friend who announced the theft has a twitter account, the victim of the theft also has a twitter account, and the house of another friend where they stole the car also has a twitter account. The only thing missing is that the thief has a twitter account and responds to them.
paloma: I feel bad, @luisramirez came to eat at my house and someone stole his truck that was parked out in the street. What can be done in these cases?
Micronauta: Toyota RAV 4 XJ-9694 (-5) If anyone sees it, it belongs to @luisramirez and they just stole it from the house of @paloma in the neighbourhood of Las Condes.
Micronauta: The federal police have already arrived. The truck is registered and has license plates. Luis is pretty calm, speaking with the municipal security personal.
If there are people out there reading their tweets on their cell phone and they see the stolen car, it could be recovered thanks to Twitter. Thieves, be careful when you steal from geeks. Mwahahahaha.
While I can’t believe you outed me like that (wait, yes I can), I must sheepishly admit that you were right (how I hate that!). Twitter has proven an amazing tool ~ not only for my own personal communication with my growing on-line community, but also because I’ve learned much more than simply what people are having for lunch (although that’s fun to know, too). I generally click on every link in every tweet I follow and so I have read some amazing, useful articles I wouldn’t have otherwise found. When the news services started using Twitter for updates during the San Diego wildfires, I thought, “Why didn’t someone think of that before!” So to read about Twitter’s even broader potential, on global and local levels (car thieves beware!) is amazing ~ and is making me eat crow! 😉