Old-School Social Networking

Harold Hackett has a very special hobby. Since May 1996, Hackett, an inhabitant of Prince Edward Island, Canada, has dispatched more than 4,800 plastic bottles containing messages into the Atlantic. His messages follow a standard format: They are all printed on fluorescent paper, they document the date that he tossed the bottles into the ocean, and they request that the recipients reply. Hackett doesn’t supply his telephone number; he wants letters. The bottles float away from the coast, and about seven or eight miles out, they are pulled in various directions by the tide. Since he began his hobby, Hackett has received more than 3,100 replies from people who have discovered his bottles in Russia, Africa, Holland, France, Scotland, Ireland, the Caribbean, Canada, the US and South America. He often receives messages that are connected to bottles he pitched into the sea 10 or 15 years previously. He has made thousands of pen pals and has accumulated a massive collection of poignant letters and stories from people around the world. getAbstract was touched by Hackett’s passion, even though approximately 1,700 of Hackett’s bottles are littering the ocean, lost at sea. Hackett is committed pursuing his pastime until the day he dies.

Hackett discovered his hobby just as the Internet was taking off. You can emulate Hackett by reaching out to people across the world. But with modern social networking technologies, you shouldn’t have to wait 15 years for a reply. For some of the most up-to-date information on social networking, take a look at these links:

The Dragonfly Effect

The Thank You Economy


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