Posts Tagged ‘media reference’

The Cobb County Police Department robocalled me a few minutes after midnight to tell me about a 12-year-old who went missing after last being seen at East Cobb Middle School, about two miles from my house.

I’m assuming that the call was at least targeted to people who lived within a certain distance from the school, or within its attendance area, and I hate to criticize any effort to find a missing child, but this didn’t strike me as the most effective or efficient way to do it. The boy had been missing for about 10 hours, and there wasn’t any indication that he was in imminent danger. Rightly or wrongly, midnight robocalls annoy people, and may even feed into a “Boy Who Cried Wolf” dynamic in which people begin to ignore even useful alerts.

The Interactive Defense System allows a police department to send out targeted alerts based on residents’ addresses and preferences such as text message vs. e-mail vs. automatic voice call. Residents choose the method of delivery and the phone number or e-mail address to be used, so each message has a substantial chance of triggering a productive response.

IDS is built like a social-media platform, and alerts are just one of its many functions, of course. Had Cobb County police been using it yesterday, they could’ve disseminated a photo of the boy instead of relying on the extremely rough description “blue shorts and white shirt” that I half-heard as I was rubbing my eyes in the wee hours.

It looks like the 12-year-old boy who went missing yesterday afternoon was safe and sound early this morning. Whether or not the robocalls helped in this particular case is anybody’s guess.

We’d like to apologize to any of you who have been waiting for our interviews with Shareholder Development Group to be posted. Unfortunately, SDG’s systems were shut down by an electrical storm earlier in the week, and SDG has had technical problems in getting things running again. The first two of the three interviews we mentioned in our press release have been delayed; we hope to hold the first of the three in the next few days, and we’ll certainly post a link to it once it’s complete. Thank you very much for your patience.

UPDATE (MARCH 31, 4:30 p.m.): Stephanie’s on the phone with SDG right now. We hope to have the interview — or a link to it — posted by early tomorrow.

We’re excited about the comprehensive and thorough article about the Interactive Defense System that PoliceOne.com posted yesterday afternoon. It may be the most important recognition that IDS has received to date — on a website for law-enforcement officers nationwide and published in the middle of a conference on the role of social media in policing. When I last checked, 104 PoliceOne readers had recommended the story on Facebook and at least 20 people had “retweeted” a link to it that PoliceOne posted on Twitter.

A summary paragraph:

IDS is a social network designed specifically for law enforcement, meaning it’s equipped with crime-solving tools as well as privacy and security measures you won’t find on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, or YouTube. Its sole purpose is to make communities safer by bridging the gap between departments and civilians.

It goes on to give a great overview of the platform’s development, its features, and how police agencies use it. It includes a video from one of the three segments that appeared on local news channels in the Atlanta area after Dunwoody launched IDS.

The IDS article appears in a package of stories that writer Justin Cox and PoliceOne editors put together for publication during the SMILE (Social Media, the Internet and Law Enforcement) Conference, which began Monday and runs through today in Santa Monica, California. The stories are individually linked from PoliceOne’s topic pages for social media and community policing.

screen shot of article

PoliceOne strikes me as an impressively thorough online resource. Social media and community policing are among more than 60 categories on the site. Others include border patrol, corrections (prison) and gangs. The site also has a running feed of police-related news on a range of topics including officer shootings, big arrests, and leadership changes at big-city police departments.

A big thank-you to Justin Cox and PoliceOne.com and a big salute to the police chiefs in Dunwoody, Clarkston, Santa Monica and others who are keeping with the times and using new technology to promote public safety openly and efficiently.

A survey published last week by the Pew Internet & American Life Project found that 65 percent of internet users in the U.S. have paid for news, entertainment and/or other digital media.

That’s crucial for FargoTube because it strongly reinforces our belief that musicians, filmmakers and other content owners deserve to be compensated for their creations that are distributed online just as they’re compensated for tangible products such as CDs and DVDs. More importantly, this is evidence that content owners can profit from their works, which is the central premise of the FargoTube business model. Artists don’t have to post their videos and music for free consumption, merely as an attempt to steer fans to their discs and live performances, and they don’t have to rely on ad-funded sites like YouTube, which share a far smaller portion of their revenue than the 70 percent that FargoTube shares.

The Pew report has drawn extensive news coverage in the last few days, both on tech blogs and in the mainstream media.

This was the first time that Pew surveyed Americans’ spending on online media, but I think it’s safe to assume that 65 percent is a big jump from a couple of years ago. (Taking into account that a quarter of the people in the survey don’t use the internet, only 49 percent of Americans buy online content. That percentage has also surely grown quickly and will continue to do so.)

I think people are becoming more willing to pay for digital content for two main reasons. First, they’re spending more of their time online. It’s worth the investment to them because they know they’ll either be at their computer or have an appropriately equipped mobile device on hand at the moment they want to listen to the music, watch the video or play the game that they download.

The second big reason is that individual online content providers and distributors are differentiating themselves from one another, thanks partly to faster internet connection speeds. They offer a wide range of interactive features, including many that were impossible in the days of dial-up and even DSL. Internet users can no longer drift away to a different site that has exactly the same content and presentation.

I think FargoTube is a great example of this differentiation, especially in terms of presentation. FargoTube’s social-networking format is unique among online video platforms. Subscribers to a FargoTube fan site can interact with each other and with the bands, authors and filmmakers whose works they buy. Subscribers can share their own videos of concert footage with one another and even sell that footage, subject to the approval of the content owner behind the fan site.

The Dunwoody Police Department is drawing more and more attention and praise for its use of social media, including its recent adoption of the Interactive Defense System.

The International Association of Chiefs of Police is spotlighting Dunwoody on a section of the IACP website dedicated to social media. The DeKalb Champion newspaper also highlighted Dunwoody’s use of social media this week.

As detailed by the IACP and the Champion, Dunwoody PD began using Twitter in early 2009, when it was rare for law-enforcement agencies to do so. Even by September 2010, only about 24 percent of departments were using Twitter, according my quick calculations using numbers from an IACP survey. DPD also appears to have been ahead of the curve in using Facebook (used by 54 percent of departments surveyed in September 2010) and YouTube (14 percent).

Dunwoody adopted Interactive Defense a few weeks after the platform’s launch this summer. Within just a couple of months, officers credited IDS with helping  to bring in two suspected criminals.  The IACP found that social media had helped solve crimes in about 45 percent of the jurisdictions it surveyed. We expect that number to be higher in next year’s survey as more law enforcement agencies begin using Interactive Defense.

On that note, we at F3 Technologies and Interactive Defense, LLC, would like to wish you all a happy and safe new year. We also wish you a crime-free 2011 look forward to helping you and your city in that regard!

The Interactive Defense System is generating more news coverage, this time from 9-1-1 Dispatch.

The magazine published this article after editor Gary Allen saw earlier news coverage and asked me a few questions via e-mail. It gives a concise overview of IDS’s features and it serves as a great introduction to our platform for the police chiefs and police communications specialists who read the magazine:

IDS is a set of on-line applications that provide community alerting, crime mapping, home watch scheduling and other features that are easily accessible by anyone with an Internet connection.

… The Dunwoody (Geo.) police department was an early adopter of IDS, and officials there say a wide range of city residents are using the IDS features. DPD officials credit IDS with the recent capture of three suspects after they were profiled on the Web site.

A big thank-you to Mr. Allen and 9-1-1 Dispatch!

Early-stage buzz like this is helping to generate interest among other police chiefs in the Atlanta area and beyond. As we mentioned in a conference call yesterday afternoon, IDS is being offered free of charge to the first three to five police departments that adopt it. We’re seeing increasing indications that these police chiefs’ foresight — along with the resulting news coverage — will help to bring in paying customers in a matter of months.

Note: an initial version of the 9-1-1 Dispatch article mistakenly identified F3’s partner in IDS as “Noble Ventures, Inc.” In fact, the corporation’s name is “Noble Heroes, Inc.”

 

Jason Muenzer of Noble Heroes, Inc., F3’s partner in anti-crime, sent along a link to this article about the Interactive Defense System that Patch.com published yesterday.

It’s very well written, and I believe it’s more comprehensive than earlier articles and TV reports about IDS. It even contains a few details on one of the arrests that were new to me:

The first happened just days before the site went live. Officers were investigating a home burglary in Dunwoody, and sent an email out to a neighborhood watch group – within the hour, a person wrote in with information about the vehicle they’d seen at the scene of the crime.

Within three days, police had a warrant on the vehicle. The suspect’s mug shot and information was put onto Interactive Defense, and he was later identified when a news program showed the mug shot on air.

But what led to the identification was the initial email, (Ofc. William) Furman said, which was the old way of doing things.

“That’s kind of what we started with,” Furman said. “We were relying on a grapevine email technique.”

This is particularly interesting because it illustrates how police rely on a variety of crime-fighting tools. We’re happy to be one more weapon in their arsenal!

Just FYI, Patch.com is a network of local news websites run by AOL. I think this is the first Patch.com article I’ve seen, but I’ll make sure it’s not the last. A big thank you to Patch and writer Peter Cox.