Good things happen for a reason. But is BirdBuddy a good thing? And for what reason? Apps come in all shapes and sizes and sometimes it can be hard to justify the value of yet another offering in a crowded marketplace. But damn it, I’m gonna try.
The Current Landscape for Bird Enthusiasts
Whilst bird watchers are well catered for by a plethora of bird-ID and guide apps such as eBird and BirdsEye which number around 200 nowadays, enthusiasts of pet ownership are not that well catered for. There is an aviary management app called “AviMan” which is geared mainly towards commercial bird rearing, but nothing which harnesses the wonderful functionality of mobile devices to enhance the joyous experience of being a bird owner and network with other like minded users.
The BirdBuddy Vision
The vision is to make BirdBuddy an all-in-one resource and networking platform for all stakeholders in pet bird keeping. So owners, traders and even veterinarians will be able to use its ‘offline’ capabilities for logging and managing their bird-related data, and its online capabilities to make new contacts with experts, suppliers and customers.
The only way this can be achieved is by fostering a community of users who are encouraged to constantly provide feedback on the app so it can be honed to become the most useful bird keeping tool available on the net.
What Makes BirdBuddy Unique?
The individual components of BirdBuddy can all be found in existing apps. You could use a general spreadsheet or database app to record various data about our birds. You could schedule notifications with an alarm app. And you could use Facebook or WhatsApp or Line to create a group of bird enthusiasts with which to network.
But only BirdBuddy brings all these things and more together in one app, and tailors each component specifically to the needs of bird enthusiasts. So for example, in the BBSpace networking component, if you are buying or selling birds, your information is recorded and displayed using categories and headings pertinent to bird keeping. Pre-configured life events and diets are available which are based specifically on birds, and so on.
Cultivating a Democracy of Ideas
I would like BirdBuddy users to be the main drivers of the app’s evolution. Users should be the source of ideas on new features and improvements in the app, and they should also feel like stakeholders in the app. At the moment, I am offering t-shirts in exchange for feedback but I will look into other ways to make people feel like they own a part of this process eg recognition of contributors within the app itself, improved search ranking for contributors in BBSpace etc.
So I’d like anyone reading this to know that your ideas are very welcome and I will be sure to reply to any comments you send. Lets make BirdBuddy work for all of us!