“Snoutbook”? “My Dish”? Exporting the social networking paradigm to the canine world was probably only just a matter of time, and you can still legitimately debate how such a service might best be named, but there is already a notable site of that kind in existence, and it is called honden.be (“honden” being Dutch for “dogs”). The Belgian daily Het Nieuwsblad has an article up now on-line in its “Lifestyle” section about the new project of one Jan van Vlimmeren, a Fleming, to set up that site to bring social networking functionalities like the “Wall” (to relieve oneself on?) and “pokes” (here “sniffs”?) to man’s best friends, as represented by their owners. Specifically, on honden.be you can already set up your dog’s profile, join groups, post a doggie-diary, and even hook up with Google Maps to locate the nearest veterinarian and canine hair-salon (although I suspect that that latter functionality does not extend beyond Belgium). Features that are soon to come include a new category of profiles for dog-breeders as well as checklists to compare your own dog’s personality with the character-traits that his/her particular breed suggests that he/she should have. What’s more, according to the Nieuwsblad article 220 dogs have already been signed up to the site!
Van Vlimmeren does stay aware of other dog-oriented sites which might pose a bit of competition. There’s dogster.com, for example (“for the love of dog”), which he dismisses as “not very user-friendly.” It’s also true that dogster.com is not really structured to be a social-networking site, although it does have private accounts, discussion fora, and groups. It also has a companion site called, of course, catster.com, with much the same pluses and minuses. One has to assume that Van Vlimmeren is well aware of the obvious main limitation of his own honden.be: he’s going to find it hard to make it appeal to anyone with no capability in Dutch!
UPDATE: I should have known that Facebook itself would be on the case. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you: Dogbook!