Furry friending

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Web -

DOES your dog blog, your cat chat, your fish Flickr or your bird Twit­ter?

That’s not so un­usual, as pets mi­grate to so­cial net­works on­line.

Face­book founder Mark Zucker­berg’s cute puli dog, named Beast, has more than 110,435 fans on its Face­book page.

And Zucker­berg isn’t the only one whose pet has its own Face­book page.

In a sur­vey by Lab42 and dog­gyLoot, 14 per cent of Face­book users polled said they had an ac­count just for their dog.

Don’t scoff. Some of those dogs have more friends than you do.

A sheltie named Dusty which lives in Chicago has more than 4855 fol­low­ers on Twit­ter. Dusty has its own web­site, a page on Dog­ster. com and even its own ‘‘ paw­per­back’’ book Dogged Pur­suit ( writ­ten by his pet par­ent, Robert Rodi).

The vir­tual pop­u­lar­ity of pets is grow­ing.

YouTube chan­nels are ded­i­cated to Fluffy’s funny an­tics, Face­book pro­files de­tail doggy re­la­tion­ships, Flickr is full of cute kit­tens, and tweets are fol­lowed up with a * BOL* ( that’s ‘‘ bark out loud’’, for the hu­mans read­ing at home).

While some sites in­volve in-char­ac­ter role-play as the pet it­self, oth­ers sim­ply doc­u­ment how much own­ers value their pets. Some sites hold con­tests, fea­ture pic­to­ri­als on the ar­rival of new­born an­i­mals, host groups, real-world mee­tups and in­ter­ac­tive cal­en­dars where users can post events.

There are also on­line pet me­mo­rial pages, where pet own­ers can re­mem­ber their gone but not for­got­ten pets.

From Pet­so­cial. com to Pet­brags. com, there is a site spe­cific for your furry, feath­ered or finned friend.

The en­thu­si­asm with which mem­bers post on pet net­works closely re­sem­bles the new-par­ent gush­ing seen on baby so­cial net­works. Come to think of it, that’s where a lot of dot­ing pet own­ers may grad­u­ate to.

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