Twitter and the digital treasure hunt

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iol scitech dec 11 twitter AFP For its devoted users, Twitter is a torrent of information in which to splash around to pick up everything from the latest news to the latest meme.

London - Treasure hunts are always fun – and now they’ve entered the digital age.

Twitter users were left scratching their heads in recent days after a series of cryptic messages appeared on the social networking site.

Those who managed to crack the clues headed to a London park on Saturday.

And there the excitement grew as total strangers found themselves competing with each other to find the treasure – one of some 20 white envelopes each containing £50 (about R900) or so which had been hidden amid the trees.

The treasure hunt, called simply Hidden Cash, is the creation of wealthy Californian property developer Jason Buzi, 43, who has previously staged versions of it in several American cities and in Mexico.

Further British hunts are expected to follow, with Birmingham, Manchester and Liverpool suggested as possible locations.

Mr Buzi said he had no agenda other than to use social media to bring people together in the outdoors. “That’s the key thing here – that and brightening up people’s day,” he said.

In the London hunt, the first teasing tweets from the Hidden Cash account began in the middle of last week, before more were given in online news reports, and then on the Hidden Cash Twitter feed itself.

The first clue was “Look for a large space where blue and green meet” – with successive clues by late Saturday morning eventually leaving followers in no doubt that Kensington Gardens in West London was the only place the money could be. Each envelope contained £50, or a little more, and a hand-written request for the finder to tweet a picture of themselves with the money.

The first envelope was found in a tree stump by Sam Wilson, 30, of East London. Miss Wilson said: “The whole point of this is a game for everyone to get involved. The atmosphere in the park was great.”

Adam Mills and Jane Fletcher from North London, who were working as a team, found one envelope each – then an extra one. Mr Mills said he was giving the third £50 to charity.

Critics suggest the hunts are either an attention-seeking exercise by Mr Buzi or a promotional campaign for Twitter, and it would be better if the money went straight to charity. The lucky few who found the cash, however, have no complaints. - Daily Mail

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