Meet the Doghouse
The new search options in version 5 of the Pedia programs now increasingly favour sites that provide media content instead of goods for sale. The advantage of this is that the data is largely user-contributed and open for sharing. However it also means that information like UPC and price is not necessarily included. We’re hoping Doghouse will bridge that gap in the future and provide the best of both worlds for all Pedia users.
Maybe you’ve already had a chance to check out Doghouse, the Pedias’ very own user-assisted online data repository which we’ve been building for the past year. Since the database is built exclusively with contributions from Pedia program users it is obviously still in its infant phase since we only just launched version 5 and even though our hard-working beta testers have been contributing data for months, there is still a lot of room to grow for Doghouse.
One of the major advantages of Doghouse is its international potential. Since users from all countries can contribute their data in their own language, this will create a truly global database with information from around the world for other users to search.
Doghouse returns results in the language your computer is set to, it would be overwhelming to receive multiple results in different languages. However if you are looking for an entry not in your language, Doghouse is smart enough to get you those results when the title matches nothing in your language. At the moment, non-English users will see results in their own language first, as well as matching results in other languages. Depending on your feedback and as the non-English contributions grow we will change that in the future. (That’s the beauty of it – we have full control over the Doghouse and its searches so we can set things to work in the best possible way for Pedia users. We’ve already tweaked our code in the last week in response to feedback and improved exact match returns for title and UPC searches.)
If you’d like to start sharing your own database with other Pedia users, begin by signing up for a username and password in the Doghouse menu > Settings. Contributions to the Doghouse appear anonymously but we do require a username/password combo in case someone starts uploading inappropriate or unrelated data it makes it easier for us cleanup.
Since your contributed data will be shared with other Pedia users we do ask that you only contribute those collections that would be useful to others, i.e. if you have a collection of home movies, please don’t send that to Doghouse since no one else will have any use for it. (Personal fields such as custom fields, location, comments, borrowed by, etc. are never included in the contributed data. Most fields found in the extras tab by default will fall in the personal category.)
If you’re interested in becoming a moderator for Doghouse to help us check entries for accuracy and quality, sign up here. We’ve also put together a little style guide for moderators which might also make an interesting read for anyone contributing data to get an idea what we’re looking for in Doghouse entries. Being a moderator lets you fix Doghouse entries when you spot a mistake; there is no commitment.
A big thank you to all the early adopters of version 5 who have already shared their data and especially those who’ve taken the extra two minutes to contribute an entry if they couldn’t find it on Doghouse. The next user looking for that entry will be pleased!