Guide books are so yesterday. Because we’re in the 21st century, we no longer have to depend on these bulky and extremely wordy titles to plan the ultimate travel bucket list. Can you imagine carrying these books with you during a holiday trip? I can’t. I’m a big fan of books and this says a lot. The internet, on the other hand, allows you to find the necessary information in a snap of a finger. All you need is WiFi and a decent data plan.
Without further ado, here’s another web app to add to your radar.
Findery is a user-generated website with a slightly new twist. The map- and notes-based social platform was founded by Caterina Fake, the chairwoman of Etsy and the co-founder of Flickr and Hunch. During a recent interview with Fox News, Fake shares that Findery aims to “become a source of knowledge,” and a “ubiquitous thing like Wikipedia.”
We built Findery to help you tease out local knowledge, hidden secrets, stories and information about the world around you. You can annotate places in the real world, leave notes tagged to a specific geographic location—an address, a street corner, a stream, a park bench, a rock at the end of a road. — Findery
I Gave Findery A Go
I was off to a good start. After installing the app, I was greeted to an aqua blue layout that was packed with interesting tidbits from the world. At the top hand corner, there’s a section called ‘Findery Favourites’, where users share trivia about the places they visit. If you’re looking for under-the-radar locations, pay extra attention to this space.
I was introduced to a Myanmar-based restaurant that serves mouth-watering cuisines and a shopping mall in Sydney that’s furnished with a giant Scrabble rack. What I liked best about Findery is that it has a really welcoming and positive vibe; everyone is sharing the good stuffs. It’s relatable, educational (proceed with caution) and has a tinge of personal touch – which never hurts.
Here’s a little tip, switch on your GPS. That way, you get the best experience. As I was scrolling down the app, I was immediately welcomed with notes exclusively allocated to Singapore. After I was done browsing the content, I decided to drop round to see the menu section. I clicked on my profile tab to edit it and that’s where the problem starts. As I was editing the description, the text, for some peculiar reason, kept disappearing.
It appears that I’m not the only one facing these problems. When I contacted the support staff, I was told that the profile description error is a known bug in the Android app. Amanda Law, who’s in charge of content, community and marketing at Findery, explained that the engineering team will be tackling it soon. If you, like me, are experiencing this problem, simply head down to the web browser in the meantime to add your profile description.
The profile description bug is not the only issue I’ve faced while using Findery. A couple of days back, while I was using it on the web browser, the map shows I’m at Kenya. Considering I live in Singapore, this is pretty amusing. So why is this happening? That’s because my computer is not equipped with a GPS receiver; so the map does not accurately show where I am.
According to Findery’s FAQ segment:
The map thinks I’m somewhere I’m not. What’s up with that?
Your computer doesn’t have a GPS receiver and so we’re taking our best guess as to where you’re located the first time you visit Findery. Chances are, it’s down the street and a few blocks over from where you’re sitting. When you come back, your map will be just where you left it.
Still, it is rather odd that the map shows I’m at a country that’s over 7,000 km away from Singapore. If you’re experiencing this same problem, fret not. Law recommends: “If you go to the map and center it to your current location, this should help it to recognize and store your correct location moving forward.”
You don’t need a light-bulb moment to get started on Findery. The web app’s got you covered. As seen on the abovementioned picture, there are some ideas for you to post your first story. Strangely enough, I couldn’t find these prompts in the Android app. It looks pretty bare if you compare it to the web app. Judging by the mixed reaction on Google Play, it definitely looks like the app need some fine adjustments. The web version looks so much better.
I doubt people are going to get tired of Findery. If you find it too stale, consider taking part in the Daily Challenge. The feature totally screams WordPress, and I meant that in a really good way (the blogging platform is known for its daily prompts and weekly photo and writing challenges). Take the ‘Be a Detective‘ Challenge, for instance. It’s fresh and interesting. There is no need to say more, Findery is living proof that the internet does bring us together.