For those of you who may have doubts about the power of social media (specifically Twitter) please read on. And to those of you who use Twitter, next time you see a missing child or missing person alert, please consider re-tweeting it.
The following article is written by Mari Kurisato from the Denver Examiner.
After nearly a week of being missing, Jennifer Frisina was found safe and returned home to her family, due in large part to efforts like the folks who submitted comments in the original Examiner.com story, Facebook, Twitter, and other internet outlets to raise awareness and keep the pressure on. Even as commenters in the story were asking if this was a hoax, I phoned Arapahoe County Sheriff Investigator Lieutenant Curti looking for Bruce Isaccson to confirm the story. He confirmed the story, and thanked me for my interest, stating that he would get back to me when he knew anything further. Through no fault of his own Lieutenant Curti didn’t get back to me until later that day, but he did call. Though efforts were spreading across the internet, I can only write about what I knew happened. (UPDATED: I’m getting several reports that many others than listed here helped contribute to the effort. This includes @AlohaArleen and @NashvilleDebbi amongst others. This list is by no way inclusive of everyone who helped, just the indiviuals that I saw in the busy rush of events yesterday.) Coordinating with the efforts of other Twitters, including @SoulGeek, @BuzzEdition, @TheExpert @AbsolutelyTrue and most crucially Denver’s own @Zaibatsu, Reg Saddler, people were able to saturate the social media service and catch the attention of CBS 4 News Denver, via @cbs4denver who broadcast the story on the 5 o’clock news yesterday. CBS 4 Denver reporter Terry Jessup reported on that report that the Sheriff’s Office “did receive an unusual amount of what he (the investigating officer) called ‘blogosphere calls’ at the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s office” The alerts continued for some time on Twitter. And then at 7:33pm, Linda Frisina, the family spokesperson and Jennifer’s grandmother, sent this last night via email: She’s been found…details to come I called Linda soon after and got an exhausted confirmation–Linda sounded like she had been fielding calls from the whole planet, and maybe she had been. So I hopped back on the Twitter service, and flashed this out to everyone who had been helping send out the alerts JUST RECIEVED EMAIL FROM LINDA FRISINA THAT JENNIFER FRISINA HAS BEEN FOUND. NO DETAILS YET. which I then forwarded to CBS 4 News’ Assignment Editor Misty Montano who was able to confirm the story and get an update on their 10 o’clock newscast. If anyone had any doubt what role services like Twitter, Facebook, and other internet outlets are playing in cooperative news telling, this story may cast aside some doubt. And because it began with Frank Frisina reaching out, I thought I would let him have the last word, taken from an email sent to me at 3:38 AM: SHE IS HOME! SAFE AND UNHARMED!
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