Wednesday 19 June 2013

Social media v sociability

Found this posting on and although it relates to American pet owners I wondered what thoughts you had on the report.
Myself I'm torn. Social networking through Winnie's Dog Blog has bought me friends around the world and I do tend to go to them with questions about Monkey's behaviour and to share tales.
Whereas walking Monkey the Greyhound has introduced me to so many neighbours who I would not have seen if we weren't out and about.
Via PRNewswire - While advancements in digital technology and increased popularity of social networking have made their mark on and offline social interaction in recent years, it seems some Americans have more faith in a pet to help their social life.
According to new research from Mintel, almost half (47%) of pet owners believe owning a pet is better for your social life than social networking sites.
But it seems there is still a place for digital marketing and social media when it comes to the nation's pet owners. Some 16% of pet owners claim to be interested in technologies that can enhance relationships with their pet and over one in ten (12%) say that they use social media to learn about pet-related products and services.
Meanwhile, 28% of respondents in Mintel's research claim to receive online or promotional discounts for pet-related products and 17% say that they would like to receive pet-related promotions that they can redeem using their phone.
"Whereas the pet shop owner used to be the prime touch point to find out how best to care for their pet, social media has become the new way for pet owners to explore and share experiences around their pet," noted Gabi Lieberman, social media analyst at Mintel.
"Further, as people take a renewed interest in their own diets, we're seeing them pass along their own concerns about food ingredients, creating a market for gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan pet foods."
And it is Millennial consumers who are most engaged with pet-related technology. Today, 17% of Millennial pet owners have a pet-related app on their smartphone or tablet, a figure that falls to 9% for all pet owners.
Additionally, 27% of that generation would like to receive promotions and coupons for pet care products that can be redeemed via their phone and one in four (26%) are interested in technologies and innovations that foster a stronger pet-owner relationship.
"Millennials particularly tend to welcome the idea of integrating technology with their pet relationship experiences, especially as people seek to gain celebrity status not just for themselves, but for their pets as well," Lieberman added.
"While this push toward making pets celebrities has further pushed the power away from the brands and into the hands of consumers, brands are finding creative ways to integrate these Internet celebrities into their own marketing campaigns as a way to extend their reach."
Moreover, Mintel research found that pet owners would rather spend their leisure time taking care of their pets instead of watching TV or surfing online, as just 7% said they would rather zone out in front of the TV or spend time online instead of with their pet, and only 6% would prefer to own the latest electronic device over their pet.
"Brands are becoming very creative with their social media campaigns, using gimmicks like dogs on skateboards, celebrity endorsements and online cat awards to attract the attention of pet owners," said Lieberman.
"It's one of the few categories where brands aren't actually marketing to the end user, and they're tapping into something very personal for people, so they have to be creative, and social media really allows them to do that."

Tuesday 18 June 2013

Food for thought

 After posting my latest Monkey blog I was having a look at some of the other blogs on the screen and dropped onto as it was talking about being a leashed dog in the city and the trouble that it was causing with the ignoramuses that lived near them. They had a link to this site which made me stop and realise that I too was doing Monkey a disservice by my attitude to others. How many of us behave in this way to avoid confrontation?
How many of us would it take to stop the people who behave in this cavalier fashion?
Should we start to take back our neighbourhoods from the minority who give us a bad name?
What do you think?
Is there an easy way of doing this or do we have to take a chance on being abused?

Meet the neighbours

Well the socialisation of Monkey has started and while he still has trouble with hedges, wheelie bins, hi-vis jackets, bus shelters etc. We have to say he has no problems with other greyhounds.
We took him for a walk in Burton - on the Washlands behind the library - along with our friend Jane German and her two greyhounds. Both of Jane's were rehomed through Crossing Cottage as well as Monkey.
There were no problems at all with getting to know each other and where as Winnie used to soon tire of the sniffing, if she tolerated it at all, Monkey was as good as gold - in fact he was the calmest we've seen him on a walk, whether it was safety in numbers or whether he just felt he couldn't be seen to be a worrywuss by other greyhounds he kept his composure for the whole of the stroll.
It was a different story though when we got back to the library for a welcome drink.
Moving the metal table and chairs had him spinning and he kept a wary eye on passing people.
I think it is worth mentioning here the service at the library café. Not only could they provide one of us with a soya-milk skinny latte (I think that was it) far too complicated for me to even remember let alone drink (mine was the lemonade) but the waitress - do we still call them that or are they beverage providers?
Anyway the young lady who conveyed the drinks to our table not only provided a bowl of water for our three greyhounds but also brought out a handful of dog biscuits to treat our dogs.
Well done Burton Library we'll be back - with or without dogs - whenever we fancy a coffee in town again.




                 Monkey keeps an eye on passers-by

Along with the water, the Library also provided a little treat for the greyhounds, don't worry the spaniel behind also got the same treatment.