Several posts came through my RSS subscriptions over the weekend asking if anyone knew anything about a British guy called Ian Turner who had gone missing after a tech conference in New Orleans. Thankfully he has now turned up and the story is available here. It sounds like rather a traumatic episode but that is not really the point I want to make here.
I looked up references to him on Technorati - a search tool that follows weblog posts - and they have recorded 168 posts passing on the message and many passing the contact details of DC Cole at Woking Missing Persons unit +44 (0)1483 655081 or email him cole10437 (at) surrey.pnn.police.uk for anyone with information.
I bet a staggering number of people learned of the disappearance via feeds and blogs. I talked about this sort of use for RSS in alerts and investigations in a presentation that I gave to Surrey Police as well as to the Met in 2003. It is good that we are starting to see examples in the wild.