Tuesday, January 27, 2004


How many counties, cities, police departments, transportation systems, animal shelters, recreational outlets, and libraries operate lost and found services? Probably too many to count. No doubt many of these never connect lost property to the original owners. The process of auctioning unclaimed property is also imperfect. It can be both expensive to conduct and ineffectual in reaching a wide audience of potential buyers. What if there was an eBay auction service for lost and founds? Coraider Services Limited may have the answer. They operate the Virtual Bumblebee lost and found property system jointly with the Surrey [UK] Police. At this writing, the system has logged a rapidly growing 31,749 lost and 1,322 found items and animals submitted by 15 participating organizations. They also run a property disposal site for the Police constabularies for auctioning unclaimed property which, according to Coraider's Nick Browne, "we have recently updated with RSS feeds." Browne recently did a a presentation on RSS for the Director of Technology of the Metropolitan Police to show them the power of RSS in reaching potential buyers. Take a look at what they've done. Lost property is entered into an asp driven database which is searchable by keyword, police department, and other criteria. The system then generates dynamic RSS feeds for those items that meet the search criteria. Today Surrey, Sussex, Devon & Cornwall, Northhamptonshire, Wiltshire....tomorrow the world? Sample Feed:

[RSS in Government]

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