US police show Web 2.0 savvy in kidnapping case

Blogging software and online video used to highlight case.

The Boston Police Department has demonstrated its Web 2.0 savvy by using blogging software and online video to highlight the case of alleged kidnap victim Reigh Rockefeller. While the department's blog has only basic features and does not permit discussion of the case, updates relating to the kidnapping have been posted within hours of new developments and information on the blog has been reposted by local and national media organizations.

Police say the seven-year-old was abducted last Sunday in Boston by her father Clark Rockefeller in an elaborate kidnapping scheme. The Boston Police Department blog posted an APB-style alert later in the day that included a photo of the girl. Throughout the week, the blog has included regular updates and even photographs of dresses that the father allegedly purchased for the girl.

Last Thursday, the blog included a YouTube video of Reigh's mother, Sandra Boss, pleading for the girl's safe return. The 43-second video, shown below, has been syndicated on the websites of ABC and other national news outlets.

The Boston Police Department blog was launched in late 2005 to publish press releases, crime reports, and advisories for citizens. It uses standard blogging software (Movable Type 3.2 and sitemeter) for publishing entries and tracking visitors. The BPDNews.com site does not allow comments, but the YouTube page with the Rockefeller/Boss video does have comments enabled.

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