Happy Hannah and The Power of Facebook

As is typical for me, I was on a flight yesterday; this one from Dallas to Washington.  As I got off the plane, I noticed an Ipod in the seatpocket, obviously left by a passenger landing at DFW sometime that day.  Luckily, there was a name engraved on the Ipod…we'll call the owner Hannah O'Reilly.  Remembering the time when a young lady drove all the way across Manhattan to return the cellphone that I'd left in a taxi, I wanted to do what was right.  Somehow, I had to get Hannah her Iphone.  I was on a mission.

I had a choice.  I could give the Ipod to the flight attendant and hope that it would somehow find its way to Hannah.  Tapping my cynical side and remembering my experiences with airlines in doing anything that's outside their systems, I felt I had a better chance of success by handling the situation myself.  Hmmm, what to do?

Enter Facebook, the social networking phenomena that has caught the attention of 175 million subscribers in just 5 years (and 145 million of those in less than two years)…including yours truly.  I figured that with such an unusual name, there couldn't be more then a few dozen Hannah O'Reilly's on Facebook.  I was right.  

So, I jumped on Facebook last evening and pumped out messages to Hannah O'Reilly's

"If you are the Hannah O'Reilly that lost your Ipod on an airplane recently, please contact the undersigned with flight number, seat number and description and I'll return it."

What was interesting was that Facebook blocked me from sending the solicitation after about the 7th attempt…good security.  But my message got through and I just now received a response from Hannah…and just mailed her Ipod to her.

Consider the implications.  With virtually no effort and only a single name and some information like knowing that the individual flew into Dallas, I was able to connect with one of the 180+million people who own an Ipod.  I found the Ipod at about 8pm on Sunday in Washington, DC and had it on its way to Dallas to its rightful owner by 10am on Tuesday.  WOW!

What are the implications of this phenomena called Facebook? 

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