Do You Know These Men?

I finally saw the Muppets movie.

And I LOVED it. I mean, seriously, I felt buoyed up by all the heartfelt, feel-goodiness of the flick for a few hours after it was over. Enough so that I decided to look into what intersections my puppet friends might have with the crowdsourcing world.

What I found is an interesting call for information from Sesame Street. Sesame Street turned 42 last month – an astounding televisual feat. And although they’ve been around more than forty years, there was no fanfare or theme song launched. Instead, Sesame Street asked their fans: do you know Gordon?

Not the Gordon from the first few seasons, or the seasons following, or the current season… the Gordon from the original unaired pilot. It seems that nowhwere in the Sesame Street archives or the numerous databases that it maintains is there any record of the original Gordon. And Sesame Street would like to find him, so they’ve asked us to help. Here’s what they said:

‘mail us with anything – anything – you know which could help us figure it out. Drop us a note a [email protected] and we’ll start investigating. It could be something seemingly small; something like “my great aunt once said that her third cousin was almost on Sesame Street” or “there was a person in my neighborhood who said he was on Sesame Street in the late 1960s.” And as we learn more, we’ll post it here.

And why not reach out to the internet for information like this? The online realm is so ubiquitous, that you can reach a large number of people who can really contribute to the information we have (or don’t have) available to us (or at least the rumor mill associated with it).

It turns out that there are other projects like this all over. The Ottawa Citizen, for example, tweets the name of one dead Canadian Forces member every hour and on 11/11/11 at 11:11 a.m., they decided to create a profile on the name tweeted randomly: Chancy Melvin Simpson. Anyone could contribute to the Google Doc of information assembled about him though nobody knew who he was preceding the twitter. Now there are pages of information.

Would you look to the crowd for help finding information about an unknown person? Ever stopped by missed connections?

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