Card tracking experiment just the ticket

Dunedin man Dan Faulknor with his ''Little cards'', a social experiment where the card numbers are uploaded online and tracked throughout the world. Photo by Gerard O'Brien.
Dunedin man Dan Faulknor with his ''Little cards'', a social experiment where the card numbers are uploaded online and tracked throughout the world. Photo by Gerard O'Brien.
A Dunedin social experiment is going worldwide.

Meet Dan Faulknor, whose brainchild, the This Little Card project , officially launches today.

The 23-year-old told the Otago Daily Times he started the project after noticing business cards advertising the Gigatown competition and questioned whether people were ''actually paying attention to this''.

And so started his social experiment, which has resulted in his cards clocking up many kilometres in New Zealand and overseas. The social experiment soon doubled in size after a clerical error meant he ended up with 10,000 cards rather than the ordered 5000.

Each card was individually numbered on the back, while on the front they simply asked people to ''Pick me up''.

Those who obliged then had four options to assist with what Mr Faulknor calls his ''social experiment'', by tweeting, emailing, texting or scanning a QR code, the card's number and where it was found. And then what?

''Take it somewhere else and drop it so someone can find it.''

Late last month he circulated about 600 cards, and had 60 ''finds'' around New Zealand, as well as in Australia, Samoa and England.

One card turned up five times around the country, including in Greymouth, Christchurch and Auckland. It appeared people enjoyed tracking where their cards ended up, he said.

Mr Faulknor said the number of reported finds was more than he expected, and that was pleasing, given how much time he devoted to the project, including hundreds of hours writing software. He said he wasn't ''doing this with money in mind''.

His website, thislittlecard.com, is set to go live later this morning.

-hamish.mcneilly@odt.co.nz

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