Mon, Jul 02, 2007 - Page 15 News List

Four-legged friends connect online at Dogster 四腳朋友 上網交友

Ted Rheingold, founder of Dogster in San Francisco, California, USA.Dogster創辦人泰德.瑞恩葛爾德在美國加州舊金山市留影。

PHOTO: AFP

Teenagers have online cliques at MySpace; students star in Facebook; LinkedIn is an Internet networking stage for professionals; and dogs and their human counterparts run with the pack at Dogster.

San Francisco, USA-based Dogster is a flourishing social networking website for canines, referred to as "animal companions" instead of "pets" in the politically correct City by the Bay.

Among the furry friends featured on the website is Annie, an 11-month-old female beagle from the US state of Tennessee.

Annie loves carrots, belongs to a group called "Beagles R Us" and is humbly described as "nice with large ears."

Her roster of friends includes Tank, a Shar Pei in South Africa; a New York City golden retriever named Copper, and Beanie, a poodle living in Malaysia.

Annie has a blog, an online journal, to share her thoughts and adventures with friends.

She is among more than 290,000 dogs worldwide with Internet personas portrayed in profile pages on Dogster.

Felines have a kindred website, Catster, which is purring along with more than 121,000 members.

Dogster founder Ted Rheingold credits the birth of the pooch-oriented website in January of 2004 to a simple observation.

"I realized there was nowhere to make a webpage for your dog, or more importantly, there was nowhere to share photos and stories about your dog," Rheingold said.

"You could see photos online, but you couldn't see their names - who's this dog, what's this dog's favorite treat, or what's this dog's character."

Dogster and Catster communities have grown to more than 500,000 members. Countries with the most active members are Australia, Britain, Canada, the Philippines, Singapore and the United States.(AFP)

OUT LOUD 對話練習

Tony: I just joined this website called Dogster.

Greg: What do you do on the site?

Tony: Well, I don't know the ropes yet, but the basic idea is your dog gets a blog, a place to put pictures and a friends list.

Greg: But your dog can't use the computer. What's the point in that?

Tony: It's just a hobby, really. And you know how cute dogs are!

東尼:我剛剛加入了Dogster網站。

葛瑞格:你加入那網站要做什麼?

東尼:嗯...我還沒完全搞清楚,不過它的基本概念是幫愛犬開一個可以上傳照片和建立朋友清單的部落格。

葛瑞格:可是你的狗又不會用電腦,這麼做有何意義?

東尼:就是興趣嘛。此外,你會知道狗狗有多可愛!

know the ropes 瞭若指掌

If you know the ropes, you know how to use some thing or make it work. The phrase could come from when sailors would have to know which ropes moved the sails in the right way.

「know the ropes」表示了解某樣東西操作或運用的方式。這片語源自水手必須學會正確操作控船的繩索。


MySpace是青少年族群互動交流的天地;Facebook是當紅校園網站;LinkedIn

是專業人士建立人脈的網路平台;Dogster 則是眾多狗狗和愛狗人士的專屬園地。

總部位於美國舊金山、人氣超旺的Dogster是專為狗狗而設的社群網站。在這個注重政治正確的港灣城市,「動物夥伴」普遍取代「寵物」字眼。

網站上眾家毛茸茸朋友中,就屬十一個月大、來自美國田納西州的米格魯母犬安妮最具特色。

酷愛紅蘿蔔的安妮是「Beagles R Us」家族的一員,主人還自謙地形容牠是「有著大耳朵的可愛小姐」。

南非的沙皮犬「坦克」、紐約市的黃金獵犬「庫柏」和馬來西亞的貴賓犬「賓妮」都是她名冊上的好友。

安妮有自己的部落格(網路日誌),能與各家好友分享內心世界及種種經歷。

Dogster網站上張貼了二十九萬多筆世界各地狗狗的個人簡歷,安妮只是其中之一。

Dogster還有個專屬貓咪的兄弟網站Catster,會員「貓」數超過十二萬一千位。

Dogster創辦人泰德:瑞恩葛爾經過簡單觀察後,於二00四年一月創立了這個寵物狗網站。

瑞恩葛爾得說:「我發現沒有專屬愛犬的網頁,更重要的是,也沒有能分享愛犬照片及故事的園地。」

「你在網路上只看得到照片,卻無法得知狗狗們的姓名資料─牠是誰?最喜歡的娛樂活動為何?個性怎麼樣?」

Dogster和Catster的社群會員人數已增加到五十萬人以上。澳洲、英國、加拿大、菲律賓、新加坡和美國是上網登錄會員人數最多的國家。(法新社/翻譯:林倩如)

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