Thursday, March 13, 2008

Police 2.0 - To Protect and to Twitter!

Not sure how I missed this, but here's an update from a previous post.

InThe death of social networking as we know it . . . Social Network Commerce, I suggested this scenario:

Your local police department recently installed a social network precinct, and you already added them as a "preferred location." This virtual precinct takes reports around the clock, using either text or voice input. Follow up consists of a text confirmation or a phone call, and you can check the status of your report at any time.

In our recent book, The Emergence of the Relationship Economy, I suggested:

We should consider adding our local police officer or precinct to our contacts or friends list. These individuals and organizations exist already in our community network, and possibly our social network of friends. Imagine community policing enhanced by a display of trusted connections, personal photos, or random thoughts.
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If law enforcement took advantage of existing technology, we envision the process of a phone call to the police station being replaced by a posting on the virtual wall of the police station’s Web site.

Well, what do you know . . . some police departments have already upgraded to The Relationship Economy!

A search of Facebook shows 3 page results for Police Department, but there are many profiles set up with these identities.

A search of MySpace returns about 54,900 for police department, with many of the links for this department or that "jobs," and many individual officer profiles and videos - check out the Fairfield, CA police!

But as Doc Searls says, these sites are like AOL 2.0 (actually he says that about Facebook, I don't think he has ever seriously addressed MySpace). There's not much room for the relationship economy in government is there?

And now, here in the unexposed, unwalled social web of Twitter, there are . . . Real Police!

So how's this work . . . let me think. (I'm kind of new at this Twitter thing, so please correct me if I miss something).

I am a citizen in my town. I follow the Police and they follow me. They can instantly send out notifications, and I can directly message them, even from my mobile phone, right?

That's it, right? A new line on the officers' business cards, telephone hold messages, and of course on the back of the police cars . . . To Protect and to Twitter!

At least in Franklin, MA and Austin, TX . . .

What do you think?

1 comment:

carterfsmith said...

It's not just the Cops -- check out Student 'Twitters' his way out of Egyptian jail (though I think there's a lot more to the story) at http://www.cnn.com/2008/TECH/04/25/twitter.buck/index.html