Nothing can be more tragic than one a loved one is missing. Family and friends search by foot, spread the news of their missing loved one through posters and by word of mouth; do anything they can to get the word out and find their missing family member.
Now they can add social media to their arsenal.
The latest social media tool being used is the QR code. Attach it to a missing posted, and when a cell phone camera clicks on it, the image instantly takes that person to a web site, usually one with information about the missing person.
Social media has been a fantastic marketing for promoting business, covering the news and hopefully, with this latest use, it can add “finding missing people” to its resume.
A new poster has been released in the search for missing 20-year-old Indiana University student Lauren Spierer. While the poster includes the typical photo, physical description and contact information, it also has a more unusual feature.
Beside Spierer’s photograph is a QR barcode, a square black and white barcode that can be photographed with a cell phone application that then takes you to a website. In this case, it’s the official Find Lauren website run by her family.
This is just the latest in a search effort that has utilized multiple forms of social media, including Facebook, Twitter, websites and an upcoming blog. Each of these has both “official” accounts coming from friends and family and “unofficial” pages run by other supporters.
The NewsOnLaurenS Twitter account has over 19,000 followers to date. The account sent out a tweet today that read, “WOW! We have followers averaging 34 tweets per minute! Thank you for doing all you can virtually to get out Lauren’s information!!”
The account is constantly tweeting and even live tweets the daily press conferences with Spierer’s family and the Bloomington Police Department, sending bite-sized news updates into the digital universe.
Spierer’s best friends Blair Wallach and Becca Lefkowitz were among the first to start tweeting when the young woman disappeared on June 3 at around 4:30 a.m.
“It’s been amazing what the social networking has done,” Wallach said. “People have been so supportive.”
“We’re hoping that this gets out to as many people as possible,” Lefkowitz said.
The Spierer family’s Facebook page, “Official Lauren Spierer Updates From Her Family” has over 18,000 “likes” on Facebook. The family posts several times a day on this page.
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