Some time ago I joined Flickr. My choice of social media.
Now they also offer video uploads (short and condensed). I still use YouTube as my main source to upload my videos. Why? Because I like it, that's why.
Some people try to figure out why or how us mere mortals choose, without really having a lot of information on the subject, one social site instead of that other hot site advertised by strangers ( read: not a friend or acquaintance).
Well it is simple: the best way to know about something is to see ...where your friends are hanging out. They don't call it a social media for nothing! So, people will follow wherever their friends will go.
Then YOU discover something and now you are the pack leader; sounds very primal but true enough, if you discover something new and you like it, chances are your friends will come take a peek, follow you (Indian file, like Guinea pigs... not an insult, it's a good thing: Guinea pigs follow their pack leader) and they might just hang around. And this is where our story really begins.
Pet lovers, you'll understand this without any further explanation: it will all make sense to you although some of you might find the idea extraordinary (according to Webster: going beyond what is usual, regular, or customary). For you, the outsiders let me explain why it is so interesting for thousands of people to join spaces reserved only to bunnies, dogs, cats, horses or feathered friends -- and I'm probably missing other spaces. As I am not a fan of critters that have either no legs or more than 4, I can't say I explored all the avenues possible in the animal kingdom... But don't leave your curiosity unsatisfied; indulge yourself into spyderspace, snakespace or bumblebeespace! Please, bug lovers, don't put me on your ignore list right now and read what follows because there seems to be an astronomic amount of *Spaces* created for anything and everything . See, I am kind, even to you arachnid worshippers.
Yes, yes, I am coming to the point. If you have been patient enough to read this blog so far, then you might be One-of-Us or increasingly curious. In either case, you are hooked (sorry for the ones on MyFishspaces, no punt intended).
I have a rabbit. In fact, I have several other animals but we can talk about them later. This rabbit is our FUR COMPANION, meaning she is part of our family, as in a family member, not only a pet (no, animals are not mentioned in our wills as beneficiaries..Come on! Although... I know a lot of persons who DID leave everything they had to their cat or dog).Even Disney knew that: ever saw The Aristocats?
So, this rabbit is a rescued rabbit. She was either to be left at the shelter or cooked for someone's next meal. Sweet Bunny! Help us all! Grabbing the rabbit in one hand and the door handle in the other, I flew the place like if it was the den of the devil itself. The ex-owners just waved at us.
Now she was in our lives. Mind you, we are good people and we wanted to give bunny the best life possible so, here begins our journey on the web and the beginning of searches to find good sources of information for our new addition. Friends told us where they hang, others informing us that their own friends hang in this or in THAT place, I finally ended up joining several rabbit groups on Flickr ( I have the cutest avatar: a Guinea pig disguised as a rabbit...Told you we had other animals. I bought the costume. Yes, this is something done by animal owners: buy their critters suits, you would be impressed at the amount of money going into that line of work each year). From there, I got the info I needed and the support I was looking for. It's amazing how many experts take part in those groups!!! Moreover: all are willing to help in any situation you might need help in. Free advice, by experts. Hmmm, very attractive.
From there, a friend pointed me to BunSpace. Ok, I said to myself, let's take a peek (refer above to see how social media works for animal lovers): You never know if this might be of some interest.
Aha! Jackpot! This space is not only friendly but you enter the realm of a new world where most of the time you will be impersonating your own animal (or not: it is up to you!) You play games, make friends, and take part in forums about anything bunny related. It also leads to cruelty-free discussions and threads about miseries *our* bunnies* have to go through because of "hoomins" (n.b.: you'll notice there's also new terminology that is quite interesting to learn...). So for better or for worse, people know me there by the name of my rabbit. Do you know that there is even BUNDAY?
To come back to my bunny, I created her profile, told her story and I was in. Note that you don't have to create a rabbit profile to be part of the site.
The site is free but services like V.I.B. are also available (VIB: very important bunny), for a certain amount of money. It will give you an icon telling the others you are indeed V.I.B. No need to say I am a V.I.B. Sorry, I mean my bunny is a V.I.B.... Well you get my point. It also has nice features like a Rainbow Bridge icon that will appear next to the rabbit's name if you made a profile for your fur baby (ies) who hopped over the Bridge and is now in BunnyHeaven. For those of you who don't know about The Rainbow Bridge, here is a poem written about it:
Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.
When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.
All the animals that had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.
They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.
You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.
Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....
-- author unknown
At BunSpace, special icons are reserved for shelters and Rescue Centers so it is easier for someone searching for a companion to her bunny or simply to look for that special rabbit that will now flop in your living room ( flop: action of walking and then suddenly drop on the side and play dead: dont fret, the bun is relaxing) to have a list of all bunnies available at that moment.
No rabbit site will ever encourage you to buy an animal at the pet store. Shelters are filled with rabbits, abandoned after a while, when the cute little fur ball is no more the toy of the children and the magic is passed: now everyone realizes that this animal indeed needs a lot of attention (how surprising....). Easter brings a lot of bunnies into misery: most of them end up at a rescue center about a month after they have been offered as a present for this Holiday.
Interesting to note, there is a campaign going on to make people aware of that reality. Their slogan is: Make Mine Chocolate! I told you it is very interesting and diversified! Or did I?
No site can run profitably by itself and there are sponsors related to the rabbit world offering their products to users. It works: not hard to sell a rabbit framed picture to a bunny lover. This applies to all sorts of products: toys, food, housing, care, etc. And people buy these products, most of us do. Maybe not a lot but after months and months of being exposed to advertisements, it all of a sudden dawns on you that unless you buy that willow ball for your rabbit, you're not a good bunparent( or that special bowl, suit, costume, jewelry: the list goes as far as the imagination of the sellers).
Now, it would be wise if you want to enter this world to do it courteously and of course, via the owner of Bunspace. No, people there aren't fruitcakes: take a look at the statistic on sales for products for pets in Canada. You have to come up with a unique idea that will appeal to that person and benefit the members as well. Let's say you sell vitamins for rodents, you can set an agreement with the administration that each V.I.B. receives a free sample and later, a discount on their first purchase. On the personal profile of that V.I.B., a simple, attractive button or icon could be shown saying "*rabbit name* knows what is best for her/him".
Again, the sky is the limit. To your pens and laptops, creators and marketers of this world! Conquer unknown territories: animal spaces! I'll be there, watching you... with Bright Eyes.