Twitter as a Lost and Found Solution
One simple and free solution would be to utilize Twitter which could serve as a perfect tool to help lost items become reunited with their owners. All that would be required is a format protocol to be put in place and shared. This could work for schools, transit systems, and more. A simple tag could be L&F followed by (lost or found) the organization, the date, the item and either who it belongs to (first initial, last name-if such evidence exists) or where it can be retrieved. Here is an example of what this might look like:
Lost items: L&F Lost @ MTABus14D 09/12/09 - silver pocketbook belongs to LNielsen
Found items: L&F Found @ 05M123 Class8-242 09/12/09 - black polo retrieve from room 526
This could be sent for free via twitter sms (twitter.com/devices), twitter voice (877-893-3822), or via computer (twitter.com). A transit worker or educator without access to a phone or computer could radio this into dispatch or the school dean.
The benefit of this is that people can instantly figure out anytime/anywhere if their item has been found and they can also have a notification to organizations when items are lost.
During my recent amazing race through Manhattan to find my pocket book I learned that there was no set protocol in place. While I was lucky to have had myself and a friend chasing and hopping buses around Manhattan a more efficient, effective, and economical approach like the one I am suggesting could make life easier for the driver trying to get to his destination on time, the passenger trying to find her lost item and/or the educator who has found an item or the student who has lost one.
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