cassandradoptedPublishing and publicizing are related words. They both mean “to make public,” in their way. They intersect in the self-published e-book world, but they can intersect in other ways as well.

There are some Facebook photos making the rounds lately of people who are trying to find missing loved ones. They post a photo of themselves holding a whiteboard with their message. This young solder writes:

My name is Casandra Skaife. I am currently serving overseas and today is my 21st birthday! I’m not looking for a drink, I’m just looking for my birth parents.

I was born in Green Bay, WI on August 7, 1992. The adoption agency closed when I was two, leaving me with no answers to my questions. I suffer from chronic migraines and need my family medical history! PLUS: My adopted parents would love to thank you for the “beautiful daughter you gave them.” God bless, SPC Skaife.

She posted the message to her Facebook account and now it’s being shared far and wide. (19,031 times when last I checked, and almost certainly more by now.) Tens or hundreds of thousands of people will see it. Will she find the answers she seeks? I hope so.

I’ve seen other such posts, though I can’t readily find them just now. People looking for missing sisters or other family members. Even people looking for lost or stolen pets. It’s a neat idea, and it wouldn’t have been as possible before the rise of social networking. It’s every bit as much a “new media” phenomenon as e-books.

Will this social searching work? I hope so. I expect that if it does, we’ll probably hear about it through the traditional news media, which won’t be able to ignore such an interesting story. Indeed, for all I know, local stations and maybe even the national news are picking it up, which can only help to boost the signal. Though it’s questionable whether it will boost it to more people than could potentially see it on Facebook, whose members number into the tens of millions.

I also hope that when the answer does come she’s able to see it. She’s getting deluged by Facebook notifications now, and I expect sorting through them all could be a full-time job. I hope when she does get some leads they aren’t buried in the deluge of “I saw your picture and it’s really neat” posts.


  1. In October 1863, Sgt. Amos Humiston, killed at Gettysburg, was identified from a picture of his children (found on his body) the description of which was circulated around the country by newspapers and other popular media.

  2. I hope that same things for this lady in the Military I did get her the beginnings of the process in order to find them, its not that difficult. I wanted to connect with her but its not easy as you pointed out. Thanks

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