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Long-lost brothers reunite via Twitter

By Brenna Ehrlich, Mashable
One night Matthew Keys received a message via Twitter from Adam Smith reading: "Hey is your mom's name Jackie?"
One night Matthew Keys received a message via Twitter from Adam Smith reading: "Hey is your mom's name Jackie?"
  • Two long-lost brothers, who reconnected on Twitter, previously met in a Web forum
  • Keys received a message from Smith reading: "Hey is your mom's name Jackie?"
  • As an online news producer, Keys knows the power of social media

(Mashable) -- We've heard of musicians finding collaborators via Twitter and reporters finding sources, but what about long-lost brothers finding each other? Well, that's what happened to Matthew Keys, online news producer for KTXL FOX40 News in Sacramento, California.

"I have a routine of checking my e-mail, Twitter and Facebook before bed each night, just in case something happened during the evening that I didn't catch, " Keys told us. Well, at nearly midnight, Keys saw a message that would lead to a pretty big piece of news that he didn't previously "catch" -- a message from a man named Adam Smith reading: "Hey is your mom's name Jackie?"

Obviously, Keys was a bit freaked out. Still, after seeing Smith's picture, which looked familiar, the young man recalled having spoken to his brother before. "Adam and I actually met in a web forum," he explains. "Neither of us can remember exactly how we came to meet, but we kept in touch off and on over the past year on MSN and Skype."

Determined to solve the mystery, Keys fired up Skype and messaged Smith.

"He started telling me things from my childhood that I had heard bits and pieces of growing up -- things nobody could have possibly known," Keys said. "I gave him my cell phone number and told him to call me. After a few minutes talking on the phone, it became pretty clear to both of us that he and I were related. We wound up speaking on the phone for four hours, so much so to the point that I had to take the next day off from work to sleep!"

How did Smith know that Keys was his bro? Well, a few years ago, his mother told him that his father had other children, and mentioned a few names, including Keys's. "At some point, Adam started asking his mom and our dad about me and something in him pushed him to ask me on Twitter details about my biological mom," Keys says.

After reconnecting, the two then went onFOX40 for an interview, and Keys was even able to give Smith a ride to the station, because -- get this -- they live 10 minutes away from each other. According to Smith, the boys have even more siblings out there, waiting to be found. Here's hoping they all have Twitter handles.

As an online news producer, Keys knows only too well the power of social media.

"After telling our story on Facebook, we were flooded with people e-mailing and posting to our wall about similar lost and found stories involving biological and adopted siblings and relatives," he says.

"It was extremely touching. I use Twitter for much of the same reason. Twitter and Facebook are both extremely powerful tools to reach out to our television audience and to interact and respond to the praise, concerns and personal stories of those who watch our on-air product."

It's apparently also giving the old-fashioned PI a run for his money.

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