File this one under awwww.
The Boston Herald reports that Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price‘s two Labrador retrievers took an unauthorized vacation but were later found after his wife suggested that he tweet about their disappearance.
Price tweeted, “If anyone finds two labs running around Candiac they’re mine.”
Fortunately, a happy ending was soon to come.
The wayward canines were found by Habs fan John Mastromonaco at 6:15 AM on Monday, May 5th, 2014, when he heard a radio report about the peripatetic pooches. “Almost at the same time, I see this jogger with two Labradors following him, but the dogs didn’t look like they were with him,” Mastromonaco told The Canadian Press.
To me, what is most interesting about this story is not just that a potential tragedy was averted, but that social media and traditional media worked together, and it was completely and utterly unintentionally. John Mastromonaco was not even on Twitter; he was listening to the radio. But that radio report would not have been made, had it not been for Carey Price tweeting. And Carey Price’s tweet would never have been made, had it not been for the quick and resourceful thinking of his wife.
Think about this in terms of attribution qualitative analysis, and seeking context for online behaviors. It seems to me that, when a lot of athletes think about using Twitter or any other form of social media, it is often for self-promotional activities. They may be personally mentioning that they are excited to be playing in a particular venue (or anything else, for that matter), but this tweet was different. It was more like a neighbor reaching out to fellow neighbors.
By knowing the entire story, we know which networks to attribute the outcome to: Twitter and radio. Twitter for the initial message, and radio for its amplification.
Twitter to the rescue!