We must all be familiar with the concept of ‘Six degrees of separation’, and I’m sure at least some of you will have heard of the study that suggests Facebook reduces the degrees of separation to four. Well this next story is a fine example of firstly, the genuine good nature that man is capable of showing his fellow-man, and secondly, how the power of social media can put two complete strangers in contact with each other when needed.
Almost two weeks ago, 29-year-old Cameron Montgomery – originally from Australia, now living in London – found an Olympic ticket on the train in the morning. It was for the athletics in that night (Friday August 3rd), and had a value of almost £300. However instead of selling the ticket on or going himself (believe you me, I’d have had a serious moral crisis if I’d found a ticket that didn’t belong to me to see Jessica Ennis that night), he attempted to reunite it with its owner.
Speaking to Mashable, Cameron described his actions: “With each ticket having a name on it, I went about looking for the person on the Internet, looking at Google, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, but didn’t really hit with anything.”
Having drawn a blank at this point, he took to sending open tweets in the hope that a RT might land his message in the ticket owner’s stream:
Sooooo has anyone in the Farringdon area lost an Olympic Games tickets. Found one this morning?— Cameron Montgomery (@patternr) August 3, 2012
So Twitter I've found a ticket to an Olympic event this morning, for a session tonight. care to help me reunite it with its owner?— Cameron Montgomery (@patternr) August 3, 2012
After several offers to buy the ticket, and many others encouraging him to go himself, the BBC, among others, retweeted his message. Eventually it was the retweet by West Hampstead Hockey Club that found the ticket’s owner:
As you can see, ticket and owner were reunited just in the nick of time – something that Montgomery credits to the power of social media: “Twitter was a much better tool in finding the owner than it was going to the box office [or] Olympic Park.”
So well done social media for being the mechanism that allowed this whole episode to work out, and well done to Cameron Montgomery for doing the right thing. Have you ever had to track someone down through online social channels to return lost property to them? Tell us your stories below.