Author Evan Ratliff has published a very interesting article in Wired magazine, looking at the ways people seek to 'disappear' - vanish, and start a new life somewhere else under a new name. It's a great read.
As part of the fun, he's decided to 'disappear' himself for a month. He's challenging anyone and everyone to locate him, and win $5,000 if they're successful. He states:
Starting August 15, I will try to stay hidden for 30 days. Not even my closest friends or my editors will know where I am. I’ll remain in the US and will be online regularly. I will continue to use social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, and I’ll make cell phone calls. I’ll generally stay in the kind of social environment I like to live in (no hiding in a cabin in Montana), and I’ll keep track of my pursuers, searching constantly for news about myself.
Information about me will be posted here at wired.com/vanish. The Web page will provide everything a plugged-in investigator would have, including activity on my frequent flier, credit card, and ATM accounts — if I’m foolish enough to use them. Wired will also post interviews with my friends and family members and log calls made by my usual phones and emails sent from my usual addresses.
To win, you have to locate me between August 15 and September 15. You’ll take my photo and say the password: fluke. I’ll give you a second code word, known to me and to Wired. Email that word, along with the photo, to my editor at firstname.lastname@example.org. Upon doing so, you will agree to be interviewed so that in a future issue I can tell the story of how you found me.
The official rules may be found here, and clues, updates, etc. will be posted here. If any of my readers would like to have some fun and join in the search, do let us know of your success (if any).
All in all, this is a fun and novel way to promote an article. Kudos to Mr. Ratliff for thinking it up, and to Wired magazine for playing along.