Several times during the life of this site so far, one question has come up again and again; what happens all the lost and found dogs and cats and other pets listed on the site? Up until now unless those posting took a proactive approach and contacted me to inform me of the outcome of their listing there was no way to answer that question for many of the pets that are listed here.
When I started the site, the focus was on getting the maximum exposure for listings possible. This involved making the process of posting a listing as easy as possible, building out the mechanisms for posting the listings to the third party social networking sites we connect to and working to build up communities of active and involved followers and fans there, optimising the listings for accurate and efficient indexing by the search engines and putting tools in place for site visitors to easily share listings both off and online. With all that to do, outcomes had to take a bit of a back seat.
But not anymore. Now when a listing is removed manually, the user is presented with a form which they can complete to let myself and the community know the outcome of their listing – good or bad. I’m hoping that presenting the form as an integrated part of the removal process will encourage people to let us know how things worked out in their particular case – happy ending or other outcome, we want to know. However, in line with our ethos of not obliging users to engage with the site any more than strictly necessary to publish a listing, completion of this form is totally optional.
In addition, listings that expire automatically after the 30 day active period will now be flagged with that particular outcome.
Over the next couple of weeks I will be working on mechanisms to automate the communication of these outcomes back to the community which, in additon to keeping you all much more informed, should free up some time for me to start work on building out the next phase of the site.