Creepy is a software package for Linux or Windows – with a Mac OS X port in the works – that aims to gather public information on a targeted individual via social networking services in order to pinpoint their location. It’s remarkably efficient at its job, even in its current early form, and certainly lives up to its name when you see it in use for the first time. You can enter a Twitter or Flickr username into the software’s interface, or use the in-built search utility to find users of interest. When you hit the ‘Geolocate Target’ button, Creepy goes off and uses the services’ APIs to download every photo or tweet they’ve ever published, analysing each for that critical piece of information: the user’s location at the time.
When you ask most librarians why they have a social media presence they will likely say things like:
- To promote library services, workshops, and events.
- To provide better access to information.
- To be where the users are.
- To enhance instruction.
- To collect feedback from patrons.
These are all fine actions— but they are what we are doing, not whywe are doing it.