It’s easy to acknowledge the power of the Internet and how it has re-shaped our lives, but every once in a while, we’re reminded of its power by a story that shows its central role as a social mobiliity tool. At times, it comes in the form of a revolution, other times it’s a simple heart-warming story.
One such heart-warming story is The Lost Letter Project, a project led by young actor/filmmaker Abbi Jacobson and Todd Bieber. They succeeded in finding the intended recipient of a letter (delivered to the wrong address) 70 years later thanks to Twitter and Facebook. The search began by looking into city records, online databases, and individual phone calls before the duo turned to social media for ‘radical collaborators.’ These collaborators were asked to document their search and share that content with the web. The project reached its goal over the course of a few months, where users that ‘joined the search’ were brought together in a temporary community through the hashtag #lostletterproject and a website. The letter was finally delivered to a woman living in a Greenwich Village apartment, and recent updates show that the addressee’s son tweeted at the project to contact him.
Watch the video below for the story in detail:
This story signifies how communities have evolved to become increasingly more temporary and goal-oriented. Being a ‘part of a community’ today is typified not only by the ability to enter and exit at the users’ will, but also by the need to have a clearly communicated goal that the community believes in.