An Australian tourist who happened to chance upon a lost camera during his summer travels back in September has now found the owner – by harnessing the social networking power of Facebook.
Traced memories: Danny Cameron was on vacation in the Greek Isles in September, when he found the camera
Danny Cameron was on vacation in the Greek Isles in September, when he found the camera. “I found a camera that was full of someone’s memories, and I want to get it back to them. I tried walking around the main town of Mykonos, in the Greek Isles, the day after I found it, but I didn’t come across anyone recognizable. So this is the last shot. This started as an experiment in Six degrees of Kevin Bacon (Separation), where I ask you to join this group and then invite people you know to join the group - and hopefully within six links, we will come across the owner of the camera and I can re-unite them with all their photos,” wrote Cameron in the Needle in a Haystack group he set up on Facebook.
A few weeks later, the group stands at almost 250,000 members. Yesterday, Cameron posted on Facebook to report that the owner of the camera was found when a group of French people featured in the pictures, one being the owner, was recognized by Facebook users at an office in London.
“Congratulations everyone, the camera owner has been found ... Thanks everyone for taking part... Unbelievable effort. I am amazed and in awe of you all,” writes Cameron on Facebook.
In an interview with Mint, he states: “It wasn’t just a random act of kindness on my behalf; everyone who joined the group was contributing. It was the team effort that caused the group to be so strong in its good intentions. And it was a massive mobilization of virtuous people... As a people and with plenty of good will, support, and encouragement we can achieve anything!”
While this isn’t the first time a Facebook outreach effort has been used for a Good Samaritan effort – a group was set up to help find 6 year old Madeleine McCann, and of course non profits set up groups around social causes all the time – the exponential increase in the group’s size in just a few weeks, and its ability to effectively render distance and culture irrelevant (Australian boy finds French camera in Greece and returns it to London) are remarkable.
Next up for the behemoth of the social media world? A UNESCO award perhaps, for its integral role in bridging cultural and geographic divides – and facilitating good deeds of course.