The Watering Hole, Monday, December 30, 2013: Shark Tweets

Western Australia is the world’s deadliest region for shark attacks. In an effort to make it safer for surfers and swimmers to go into the water, officials have set up a Twitter feed (Surf Life Saving WA) that notifies followers when a tagged shark enters the area. Scientists outfitted some 400 sharks with transmitters that send warnings to the Twitter feed. Here is an example of the kind of tweet the system might send. A tweet like this about a tiger shark had been sent every four or five minutes for about an hour and forty-five minutes before this one.

I think this is a brilliant idea and a fantastic way to do something useful with social media. Now you can take your cell phone to the beach and see if it’s safe to go in the water. Of course, most of us don’t live in Western Australia, so unless scientists working near our shores can tag us a bunch of sharks this innovative way to use Twitter won’t directly benefit us in North America.

This is our daily open thread. Feel free to talk about sharks, Western Australia, or anything else you wish to discuss.