Cabbie's tweet reunites lost BlackBerry with owner

Twitter can be used for many things, but connecting disparate people is perhaps its most potent use--like a Barcelona taxi driver and the owner of a phone left in his cab.

Some believe that Twitter has the power to change big events like Iranian elections. I think that its strength may be in much smaller, but still significant, ways.

In fact, I was the matchmaker recently between a Barcelona cabbie and an American employee of a pharmaceutical company. Well, a matchmaker between the cabbie and this lady's BlackBerry, anyway.

It happened like this:

I have a Twitter search in TweetDeck that alerts me every time the word "Asay" is used on Twitter. (I need to be able to track down libel somehow!)

Is this taxi a twitterer? CC Robertrd/Flickr

On August 30, I saw this tweet:

Hi! I'm a taxi driver from Barcelona. Somebody knows Jennifer Asay? She works for (pharmaceutical company). I've her Balckberry [sic].

I happen to be married to a Jennifer Asay, but not this one. So I looked up her name on the Web and quickly found her on LinkedIn. I reached out to her there to give her the e-mail address of the taxi driver, which he provided in his tweet. I also replied to him to give him her e-mail address. No big deal, right?

On Wednesday, I heard back from Raúl, the taxi driver:

Hi! I am the taxidriver from Barcelona.

She has found me thanks to you.
I will be with her for I will give back its telephone.
Thank you very much by your work.


Nice, right? It gets better. Today, I heard from Jennifer, and it sounds like everything worked out, thanks to the power of Twitter (and LinkedIn):

I can't tell you how grateful I am that you reached out to a miracle, Raúl brought me my BlackBerry today!

What are the odds? In our increasingly networked world, the odds are getting shorter all the time.

Again, it's a simple story, but one rich in possibilities too. Think about it. A twittering taxi driver reaches out to the massive echo chamber that is the Web and is heard by a complete stranger in Utah who also uses Twitter (me), who then turns to LinkedIn to find the sought-for person and connects them over e-mail.

There are lots of problems in the world. Communication--at least the possibility of communication--isn't one of them.

P.S. There's a very good chance that I've now ruined Jennifer's life by getting her back in touch with her BlackBerry addiction, but I want this story to have a happy ending.

Follow me on Twitter @mjasay. And if you find my iPhone, please tweet it. :-)

About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.


    Discuss Cabbie's tweet reunites lost BlackBerry with...

    Conversation powered by Livefyre

    Show Comments Hide Comments