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Geotagged Lost and Found Pet Listings Go Live

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

Pets with Latitude!

Well the title says it all.  Today we started providing the facility to geotag the lost and found pet listings posted to the site via a simple map interface in our listing submission wizard.

Location Location Location

Geotagged lost and found pet listings in IrelandWhile we are not the first Irish site to do this (though it could be a first that we’re not the first doing something :)), I think we push this technology significantly beyond what others are doing with it as we are adding the geolocation information to each listing page in machine readable micro format which should help with rankings for location based searches via Google and the other search engines.  In addition we  are geotagging our listing tweets on Twitter and our pet photo posts to Flickr where they will automagically appear on our map.  We are also including the geolocation information in our lost and found pets listings RSS feeds.

With Facebook (where we recently welcomed our 1,000th fan) rumoured to be on the verge of allowing users and developers to leverage geolocation information in apps and posts, and with the latest version of Firefox and those with GPS equipped phones now able to share their location with websites, we see a great opportunity to provide more relevant information to our users.

The site now features an map view of all current lost and found pet  listings in Ireland on our site for a bird’s eye view and each geotagged listing comes complete with its own map.

As with all new features, your feedback is more than welcome.

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

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

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.

For Technorati

Friday, August 28th, 2009

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Where are the Stolen Pets on Lost and Found Pets Ireland

Saturday, July 25th, 2009

I have had a couple of site visitors ask why they can not list their stolen or suspected stolen dog, cat or other pet, as such on this site. Undoubtedly, this is a big issue in some locations and indeed also, for some breeds.

The reason I haven’t added “Stolen” or “Suspected Stolen” status options to the list postings is because I wonder if the terms may serve to discourage those who may have stolen a pet but who are now having second thoughts and contemplating returning it or those who know of a stolen pet’s whereabouts but may be reluctant to come forward and report it, as a status of “Stolen” or “Suspected Stolen” has a negative stigma attached.

There is also the issue of owners assuming their pet has been stolen when actually it may have simply escaped somehow or been released accidentally. Again in those cases, it is hard to see how attaching the negative stigma of those statuses to listings made in such circumstances could be helpful.

I guess that in the vast majority of cases, the most important thing for most owners would be getting their pet back and therefore I think the best way any lost and found pet listing site can help is not to put anything in place that may serve to hinder that process.

So for now, I will leave pet theft report processing in the hands of the Gardai, though as always, I’m open to considering what others think when it comes to running the site most effectively so feel free to have your say on this via the comments facility here.

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Irish Lost & Found Pet Search By County

Monday, July 6th, 2009

I’ve just rolled out the latest site feature to the live site – county based search. Now you can filter the search results to limit them to listings in your county in the general lost & found, lost and found searches.

You’ll see this feature in action if you hover over any of the search links on the home, lost or found pages. You will also notice that we only list counties for which we have listings currently so you can see at a glance if there are pets listed in your area.  To close the county search tooltips, simply click on any blank area of the underlying page.

County based searches open up a whole new area for distributing more relevant lost and found data to those interested and we will be building upon this in the coming weeks.

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