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AMBER Alert and FaceBook

Here’s a piece in SecurityWeek about nice and simple Facebook News Feed use – hooking into a State’s AMBER Alert system.  FaceBook and the AMBER Alert Program created a page for each state and territory (53 in total – that includes Puerto Rico, US VI, and Washington DC).  It’s all part of the US AMBER Alert Awareness day today. [update:  that was 2010 – there doesn’t seem to be any formal plan for 2011 – no news updates at http://www.amberalert.gov for that matter.]

How did they do it?  They hooked in using regular Facebook capability, which is a very smart move – it leverages built-in Facebook capability with a minimum of integration costs.  AMBER Alerts usually go out on EAS but adding methods for sharing alerts is key to getting the message out.  We’ve seen government leaders in the US and Canada push messages out to various non-EAS sources – email, video game consoles, cell phones, web sites, etc.  It’s good to see a broad initiative like this.

Pushing CAP (and CAP-CP) AMBER Alert messages is quite simple and adding social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) is key.  Hooking into a MASAS-style system will make this easier as MASAS mature too.

It’s great to see that AMBER Alert down in the US is doing this Facebook integration.  It’ll be interesting to see what’s next.

Here is the main link for the page at Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/AMBERalert

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