Read and subscribe to the Lost and Found Pets Ireland blog

Stray Thoughts


Archive for the ‘Listing Tips’ Category

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.

Pet Photos – The Ultimate Low Cost Pet Insurance

Friday, July 3rd, 2009

Don’t get us wrong here, we are not advocating that you let your regular pet insurance policy lapse, but having had a couple of listings already today without photos attached, we are struck by how much less impact listings without photos have.

With automated display of listing photos first on Flickr and now on Twitpic, the reach of your listing becomes that much greater when you add a photo.

So, snap a couple of pics of your beloved pet right now and store them away for safe keeping – you never know when you may need them.

Tips for Good Lost & Found Pet Photos

  • Use a dedicated digital camera and not a mobile phone camera as most mobile phone cameras will produce lower quality photos and this quality will degrade even more as photos are manipulated for reuse.
  • Make the pet the subject of the shot.
  • If you have multiple pets, take shots of each individually.
  • Avoid taking shots with a publicly identifiable background scene to protect your own privacy.
  • Also for your own privacy, keep yourself and other family members out of the photos.
  • Consider the angle you take the shots from. It can be wise to keep a very distinguishing marking out of the public domain. Such markings can be used by those who may find your pet to help prevent nefarious types claiming your pet.
  • Use a background which has a significantly different colour palette to your pet’s colouring – a shot of a ginger tabby sitting on a sofa with a faux tiger skin throw is not the way to go.
  • Take the shot in natural daylight to avoid red eye (can often result in ‘blue eye’ for animals) which can really change the character of your pet’s appearance.