18 November, 2008

Twitter offers goodness

If you're not familiar with Twitter, it is a micro-blogging tool, where users can only post 140 characters at a time. The low character count was determined based on the ability of phones to SMS, with caps ranging from 140 to 165 characters per SMS message. As a Twitterer, you can post information on what your doing, a new website you found, or short news blurbs. Other people can follow you on Twitter, and see your posts as you make them.

The "goodness" I am referring to is the use of Twitter by the AMBER Alert system. Sign up as a follower of amberalert and get informed of any new AMBER Alerts. I'm actually quite surprised amberalert doesn't have more followers -- less than 500. According to TwitDir, President-Elect Barack Obama (BarackObama), the leader with the most followers, has 133,482 followers. Couldn't get at least 5% of those followers to follow amberalert?

Did you know that in 2007, there were 13 to 24 AMBER Alerts issued each month? In total, there were 227 AMBER Alerts that involved 278 children -- 278 abducted children! Statistics from the 2007 AMBER Alert Report.

If you want to follow others, once you "follow" them on their Twitter page, there are several easy-to-use clients (that you can also use to make your own posts, called Tweets). For example, I use TwitterFox, a add-on for Firefox. In this way I don't need a separate application open and most times it's my top screen on my desktop. Twitter lists several on its own website.

So whether your a Twitter user now or not, it's time you start tracking amberalert and do your part. I'm sure this is probably just one of several "goodness" opportunities on Twitter. If you know of others, please let me know.

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