New website: Vegan Food Is Everywhere

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VFIE
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New website: Vegan Food Is Everywhere

#1 Postby VFIE » Mon Feb 18, 2013 12:42 am

When I was a new vegan, I used to hang out on vegan forums all the time. I didn’t know any vegans in the “real world,” and so I spent a lot of time online, asking questions, venting, and supporting other newbies. It helped me to feel more connected to others and reassured me that while my ideas about non-violence might differ from my friends’, I hadn’t jumped off the deep end yet.

Years later, some of the most common questions I hear from new vegans are about dining out. So I want to share with you the website my husband and I created for vegans and the vegan-curious all over the world.

http://www.veganfoodiseverywhere.com/

It's (probably) the world's first vegan food spotting website. Our goal is to put every vegan dish, at every restaurant in the world, on a big Google map. We already have dishes in Canada, United States, Australia, China, France, Singapore, England, India, and many more!

And you can help!

Maybe you have photos of what you ate on vacation. Maybe you’re going out to eat tonight. Snap a photo of your meal, jot down what it’s called on the menu, and share it on the site. You can share dishes without signing up, or you can choose to create a user account first. If you create an account you'll be recognized as the discoverer of each dish you share, you’ll be able to comment on dishes, and you'll have access to lots of cool new features we'll be launching soon.

If you "like" Vegan Food Is Everywhere on Facebook, you can be a part of discussions which will shape the future of the site. We are really looking forward to hearing your feedback, because without you, a vegan map of the world would not be possible!

Imagine being able to walk into any restaurant, anywhere in the world, whipping out your phone, and seeing a custom menu with only dishes that are vegan or can be made vegan. Or imagine you're a new vegan, you're travelling, and you want to find all nearby restaurants with a few vegan options. Or imagine that you aren't vegan, but you want to try being vegan for a meal, just to see what it's like. That's what we're working towards.

Vegan food really is everywhere, and with your help we're going to put it on the map!

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Re: New website: Vegan Food Is Everywhere

#2 Postby C.O. » Wed Feb 20, 2013 10:42 pm

Nice, just checked it out and im going to share it with friends. Thanks for posting.

-Dylan

Zel in France
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Re: New website: Vegan Food Is Everywhere

#3 Postby Zel in France » Mon Feb 25, 2013 8:34 pm

Great concept, but, I would note that most sites of this kind that work (over the long term) do so through the reward that people get from participating.

If you look at the "yelp" company, you'll see that their website works hard to create both intangible social rewards, and also tangible ones. This was part of the success of Couchsurfing at an earlier stage of that website's development, also.

Some people will definitely look at this project and have to ask themselves, "Would my time be better spent on Yelp (or some other website serving the same function)?"

Some kind of "next step" is needed, relative to what was accomplished in the old days with Happy Cow (i.e., the latter being a simple list, with no real motivation for people to send in updates, and zero interactivity, zero social networking, etc.).

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Re: New website: Vegan Food Is Everywhere

#4 Postby Compassion » Tue Feb 26, 2013 6:04 pm

Hey, someone uploaded one in my city! Sweet! This site is a great idea, and I agree with Zel that some sort of "community feel" or social reward would make it easier to have people to participate. Good luck with this, and I already bookmarked it for my future travels and endeavors!
-Evan

VFIE
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Re: New website: Vegan Food Is Everywhere

#5 Postby VFIE » Mon Mar 04, 2013 10:24 am

Thanks so much for the suggestions, Zel! I really appreciate that you took the time to write out a detailed post, and the solid examples really help. I wasn't aware of Couchsurfing's history, so I'll definitely do some reading on that.

We do want to incorporate some social networking features, and actually were just discussing yesterday about creating a badge system. I can certainly see the merit in adding these kinds of features. We want to make the site really fun to use.

We're building everything from scratch, with just one developer, so these things take time. But we are releasing new features frequently, and your input has a big effect on how we prioritize our list of 118 things we want to build! We frequently run polls and seek feedback on our Facebook page. I'd love it if you'd join there, so we can hear from you as things progress.

Cheers!

VFIE
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Re: New website: Vegan Food Is Everywhere

#6 Postby VFIE » Mon Mar 04, 2013 10:42 am

Also thanks C.O. (Dylan) and Compassion! Your enthusiasm makes all the difference to us, revving us up to put in another good day of work. :)

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Re: New website: Vegan Food Is Everywhere

#7 Postby Zel in France » Sat Mar 09, 2013 7:08 pm

Thanks for a gracious reply, V.F.I.E., believe me, in general, I am very pleased to see someone trying to take an innovative "next step" beyond what now exists (in the form of Happy Cow, etc.) for vegan listings.

There's definitely a market niche to be filled here --partly because the "audience" you're reaching is strongly motivated to contribute, and to try to connect with other members of the same audience, i.e., vegans in their area [cf. Grindr], and/or vegans around the world if/when travelling or planning travel [cf. Couchsurfing].

I have joined your website, and I have used it to (laboriously) input the details for just one vegan dish so far (probably still the only entry for the city of Perpignan, if you check) --and I will be happy to try it again as the website evolves.

However, I won't be using your feedback forum: the same tendencies that make me a shrewd consumer of websites have resulted in my eschewing Facebook entirely. :-)

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Re: New website: Vegan Food Is Everywhere

#8 Postby Zel in France » Thu Mar 28, 2013 3:15 pm

Image

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Re: New website: Vegan Food Is Everywhere

#9 Postby oldlunk » Thu Mar 28, 2013 5:40 pm

I like the idea, I hope more people use it and enter places, would be quick way of finding places while out of town.

VFIE
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Re: New website: Vegan Food Is Everywhere

#10 Postby VFIE » Sat Mar 30, 2013 4:27 pm

Zel, I'm sorry to hear that you found it laborious to upload a dish to the site. What can we do to make it easier for you in the future? The site is constantly evolving, and suggestions for improvement are very appreciated!

I completely understand leaving behind Facebook; I've taken temporary leaves of absence as well, but I always seem to be drawn back in.

From your modified screenshot above, I take it that you're frustrated with the slow growth of the site in your area. Unfortunately, neither our wallets nor our stomachs are large enough to allow us to fly around the world and add every vegan dish at every restaurant ourselves. So we depend on the community to help the site grow. Thank you for adding the dishes that you have; we truly appreciate it.

VFIE
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Re: New website: Vegan Food Is Everywhere

#11 Postby VFIE » Sat Mar 30, 2013 4:28 pm

Oldlunk, thanks for the support! If you don't see dishes already added in the restaurants you visit, make sure to add what you discover to help future hungry vegans!

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Re: New website: Vegan Food Is Everywhere

#12 Postby Zel in France » Mon Apr 01, 2013 6:07 pm

VFIE,

It's cool: the jocular screenshot will make other vegans aware of the site, and the joke isn't on you (it just reflects the fact that we have nearly zero vegans in the South of France, etc.).

I don't think the VFIE website is "bad" --I think it's still in beta-testing. Those are two completely different things, and I wish you well with it.

As you're probably aware, some of your competition are working the opposite angle, of getting data directly from the resturants that want to list/market themselves, and make that available on the internet, through handheld devices, etc., to various kinds of people with special diets (diabetics, and gluten-avoiders, etc., not just vegans).

It is what it is: websites like Yelp only thrive because people are motivated to provide reviews (sometimes simply motivated by "revenge" against bad restaurants, sometimes by a desire to hook up with other people who use Yelp, etc.). Vegans do want to meet other vegans, so your website could be a big success. Or, it could fizzle out like a dozen other Veg*n social networks I could name (including veg*n dating websites, BTW... an interesting comparative case-study for you guys to glance at).

Fundamentally, there's a big difference between using a telephone book, and writing your own telephone book. Inviting users to line up to write their own listings (in a virtual telephone book)... is going to be about as popular as selling copies of a blank telelphone book.


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