A few months ago I build a social media surveillance system that pulls in all tweets made about any major cruise ship not only by hashtag, but also by search term and posts made in the vicinity of major ports. As you can imagine, it gives me mountains of data. Due to day-job issues I’ve been slacking on posting much of it.
However Thursday evening one tweet caught my eye. A person described a “fuel pump explosion” that resulted in a “two hour Power Outage on the Statendam”. I immediately retweeted it and started pressing for more information. Searches of news outlets and message boards returned no information.
I had a legitimate scoop on my hands.
Only a few minutes later I received a direct message from the person I had retweeted begging me to delete the post. I won’t go into why, but I will say they told me a very compelling story. I did, and kindly asked my wife to do the same.
I did however make a post on cruise critic asking if anyone knew about an incident on the Statendam. The thread sat quiet for two days until last night. They indeed lost all power and were serving cheese sandwiches in the main dining room.
Two things this incident taught me. First I should have run with the story. The source was almost perfect. Second, it completely validates the system I built. As of this posting I haven’t seen any major cruise news website even mention it. I feel terrible for the passengers and crew of the Statendam, but I am ecstatic that something I built works so well.