Leveraging The Power of Twitter to Save Gilad Shalit

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Twitter, the fastest growing social network is used by a new web site aims to spread the word on Gilad Shalit, the Israeli captive solider. Gilad's captivity became a new symbol to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and his story and wished for release from both sides is set to be told everywhere via Twitter.

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The idea was to create one place where people can see what is happening now about Gilad Shalit in seconds

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Three months ago two Israeli high tech community members, Dudu Mimran and Doron Breuer, sat down to contemplate how they can do something about Gilad Shalit, the Israeli captive solider. Gilad, who was captured on 25 June 2006 by Hamas, has already become a symbol for the conflict between Israelis and the Palestinians. His personal story and drastic captive conditions as well as the ever flowing waves of hope and despair driven by talks of release touched deeply many people. The other side of the coin of Gilad's captivity is the hope of many Palestinians for the release of their prisoners, which actually makes Gilad today's center of the middle-east conflict.

The meeting between Dudu and Doron gave birth to a new concept where a social network will be leveraged to spread the story globally and Twitter was chosen for the task. After some web development and design work a new website called Gilad Shalit Free was launched, as well as a twitter account @giladshalitfr. The website name, "Gilad Shalit Free", expresses the deep wishes of the creators and serves as a center point for staying up-to-date with recent tweets, news, pictures and videos collected from all over the web. "The idea was to create one place where people can see what is happening now with Gilad Shalit in seconds" says Dudu Mimran. Followers of the Twitter account @giladshalitfr get the same real time updates directly to their inbox.

The site was built to spread the word easily by either tweeting on Gilad directly on the site or by grabbing special widgets, widgets that can be embedded in every other blog or website. The site offers two widgets: a "days in captivity" counter which is updated with every day passing in captivity and a Twitter badge for Gilad.

"It is important to note the site is not of profit by any means and is aimed only to serve the important cause of telling the story to as many people as possible and over the net," says Doron, the website designer.

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Dudu Mimran

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