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Stray Thoughts

Lost and Found Pets Get All Up in Your Face(book)

Since I started the site back in June I’ve been planning to really dig into Facebook. With users claiming to be located in Ireland numbering about the million mark at this point, and with many of those engaging on a daily basis, it seemed like the perfect vehicle for getting the listings out to a wider audience.

My initial feeling about this has been more than backed up by the success of the site fan page which now has around 350 fans, with that number steadily growing. It has been really great to see people engage with the listings and other content I have posted there, both commenting and sharing, and it has also been a great source of feedback on the main site too.

Basically Facebook applications, some developed Facebook itself but most mainly by third party developers run inside Facebook and add extra functionality to the site – everything from games and quizzes to full-blown e-commerce portals. I had been using the platform these applications are built on to provide the ability to share listings from the main site and to bring them into Facebook since the start but it is only now I have begun to use its full potential.

Introducing the Lost and Found Pets Ireland App

Our application allows users to:

  • View the latest lost and found pets without leaving Facebook.
  • Display the latest pet posted on your profile page automatically.
  • Share any posting displayed here with your Facebook friends.

Facebook App Widget

It comes with three interfaces. The first is a widget that both regular users can add to their profile pages and page administrators can add to their fan and application pages which automatically displays the latest pets posted to the site with a photo where applicable along with links to both share and view the full listing. Others viewing the widget are also offered the opportunity to add the widget to their own profile or page. The second is the tab interface which, once again, both regular users and page admins may opt to display. The tab shows a summary of the latest blog posting from the site, a selection of the latest pets posted on the main site (with links to share) and a link to give feedback as well as links to both our site and app fan pages.

Finally we have the main application interface which features all the elements of the tab interface above with the important addition of a link to invite friends to use the application.

Now anyone who has used Facebook for any length of time is bound to develop ‘app fatigue’. Many of the applications on offer range from simple to annoying amusements, built purely for revenue making purposes. I’m hoping that the practical nature of the app will encourage people to install and use and share it. I guess time will tell.

Facebook App Tab

I intend to develop out the application some more in the coming weeks and I am looking forward to hearing people’s thoughts and feedback on it.

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2 Responses to “Lost and Found Pets Get All Up in Your Face(book)”

  1. admin says:

    Thanks Eric for the positive feedback on the app. At the moment I am still working on building out the infrastructure of this site so I have no immediate plans to make this a more international effort.

    Basicaly, the app depends on the site database to operate and the site database is populated by the general public using the site to enter data on their pets. Therefore you can see that an app for any other locale would also need that supportive infrastructure of a site and database. Given that it has taken me 5 months to bring the entire project this far and that there are still elements of the infrastructure for this site which need to be completed, I would not see me doing something internationally in the near future. Still, I hope the project has got people who work in this area thinking about the benefits of well structured and centralised data.

  2. Eric says:

    Hey, Great Idea!!
    Since a long time I was searching something like this.
    Now I wonder if you could open it to the world, just called: “Lost & Found Pets”
    And if my network is XX country (and province), the app will automatic show the animals from that region.
    And give a deadline for the adds (2 weeks) and take it off, send an message to the owner asking if he want to put online the same add (simple like a poll: yes or no, and recover the info or delete it)
    Please let me know I you need help with this. (or search me in FB)
    Love it!
    Ps: then I can help you with the spanish version!

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