Modern society is converting us into information seekers. We want to know the when, where, and how of everything and anything. (Of course, only the smart people ask ‘why’, which is much harder to answer and requires more brain power, but I digress!).
The History Channel has a show called “Tactical to Practical” showcasing how military machines are being integrated into our lives because they have civilian uses. One such item is the Global Positioning System (GPS) which uses satellites to guide people such as when they are boating and the current pushes the boat a bit off course. In this case, you can easily figure out where you are using GPS technology.
People love the idea of tracking things. Internet technology has made it easier than ever to get the info you want in a few seconds. We spend hours looking up people and information using search engines. Anyone who has used UPS knows that you can see where your shipment is as it goes from place to place until it arrives.
The latest trend in tracking involves the integration of the world wide web (emphasis on the word ‘world’!) and actual items. Two areas that have become popular include tracking money and books.
…For people who are willing to spend a couple minutes checking it out, this type of tracking can be a lot of fun!…
Track Your Money!
This is one of the coolest ideas in terms of using the Internet. A typical scenario is that someone gets a dollar bill which has a message written on it saying to go to such and such a website to see where that bill has been.
The original and most popular of these websites is WheresGeorge.com which is for American bills. You can also track bills in other countries as well, such as following the Euro all over Europe (Eurobilltracker.com), the Yen in Japan (osatsu.net – now closed), and Canadian bills (Whereswilly.com), among others.
For people who are willing to spend a couple minutes checking it out, this type of tracking can be a lot of fun! You can see where you bills have been based on people typing in the unique serial number and year of your bill. Moreover, you can see how long that bill has been in circulation between you and the last person who checked up on it.
The thing is, it must be registered to track it. So if you have money lying around and you want to track it, all you have to do is go to one of these sites and register your bill! It’s that simple and can be quite entertaining! I recommend spending money on vacation or at an airport and seeing where it goes!
Travel the World on $1!
You can track any amount of paper money ($1, $5, $10, $50, $100), even across borders since people spend everywhere! The peculiar thing is that people who aren’t aware that the bills they are spending are being tracked will naturally spend as they typically would so you get an unbiased view of your bill’s travels!
A Free Read
Another big area in tracking involves books. The idea behind bookcrossing.com is that you find a book that has been left somewhere (like a coffee shop) with a post-it note on the cover telling you to take.
On the inside cover is a message and a code number that you simply type into the website and it will tell you how the book got to where you picked it up!
Aside from seeing where else the book has been, you can read it and send it along for others to enjoy by leaving it at another random destination.
One of the beauties of this system is that eventually, more books will appear at the same places where you picked them up and so a lot of people in your community who may share your interests may get a free and enjoyable read! When you see a book with this kind of message attached to the cover, you just HAVE to grab it! Check the inside cover for a tracking number.
The Next Big Thing?
These are just a couple of examples of the latest trends in tracking. In fact, I only found out about them because I received marked bills and found a book! After some research, I saw how hot the trend was! As people get more innovative there will likely be other forms of tracking that will intrigue us. Until then, go track the money you’re spending!