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#SharkAttack: Australia uses Twitter to send shark warnings

Shark Twitter

Refresh your Twitter feed. This could be there.

Viewers of Jaws knew the nefarious shark was near whenever the soundtrack blared the classic theme’s menacing brass notes. Real-life shark attack victims aren’t so lucky. But Surf Life Saving Western Australia, an organization for waterfront safety, is using Twitter to provide warnings to Australian beach-goers around Perth, tweeting alerts about nearby sharks.

Surf Life Saving have their Twitter feed hooked up to transmitters attached to over 320 sharks in the area. Whenever a shark comes within around a kilometer of the beach, Surf Life Saving spreads the word on Twitter. The team also posts alerts when other people call in shark sightings, and keep people up to date about weather conditions at the beach. 

This is a good example of an organization developing a smart alert system independently of Twitter, but through Twitter. Twitter has been bulking up its native alert system, which is a smart move, but it’s good to see organizations coming up with their own solutions. 

Here are a few alerts just from this past week: 

Sometimes they’re not so serious, instead offering glimpses of beauty:

Now if only Barraccos, the pizza place by my parents’ house, would take a cue from Surf Live Saving and set up a Twitter alert system to tell people they ran out of deep dish on Christmas Eve. 

[Via Sky | Image credit: Surf Live Saving/Twitter] 

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