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I'm Now Eating My Own Dog Food!

Published: 15/05/2012
By: larry

About a month ago I went on a rant about so many PFRE readers using Flash, Java etc that can't be seen on mobile devices and Terry Iverson rightly accused me of not eating my own dog food, since my site still used Flash based 360s and slideshows. Who me? Okay, okay, so I've got my website fixed now.

Here's what I did to get the site into the 21st century where you can't depend on your viewers having Flash installed:

  1. My 360 Spherical panorama: I've used PTgui Pro to stitch spherical 360s for a long time. The last several versions of PTgui has a feature called "Publish to website" under the "tools" menu that will generate non-Flash code that you can put on any website. So I just re-stitched the panorama (I know it has a stitching error in it that needs fixing) and used that code to generate code for the website. The code I believe is using Flash where Flash is available and using Javascript where Flash isn't available. It works pretty well on iPhones and iPads although the little fullscreen button in the upper right hand corner has a problem on the iPad that I have to look into. I know, this 360 is not all that real estate related but this panorama is sentimental to me. It's a hand held panorama I shot of the TripleX drive in Issaquah, WA in about 2003. The TripleX is the last XXX Root Beer Drive Inn left on the planet. Jose, the owner hosts car shows at the drive Inn almost every weekend of the year Feb through Oct. As you can see the place is filled with 1960's memorabilia. If you are ever in the Seattle area and want a 1960's style hamburger and milkshake this is the place to go!
  2. My exterior and interior slide shows: I use to use a very old version of Monoslideshow that uses Flash. I decided to replace it with SlideshowPro (the hosted version). This is a good solution if you are doing your own slide shows or portfolio on a site that you've build yourself or if you have a tour format that you've created yourself and supply to your clients. This hosted version costs $49/year for unlimited number of slide shows and you can mix video and stills, add audio etc.

So now iPad visitors can see my site and if you are a masochist you can even visit it on a iPhone. I'm still seeing two or three sites and/or tours a week that use Flash or Java. Not having your site visible to mobile devices is one thing, but selling a Flash or Java based tour product to agents is at this point in history pretty irresponsible.

9 comments on “I'm Now Eating My Own Dog Food!”

  1. Larry, I think this looks great. I'm not much of a 360 guy, but I think this works great on my iPad. We currently use java, but hoping to roll out html5 this month.

  2. I really don't understand why people care so much about products of that specific company that doesn't make flash compatible devices. I mean, I couldn't care less about it. I only changed to html5 due to all the improvements it has over flash. I really doubt anyone serious will browse this blog using one of those devices.
    Anyway, the improvement was great. kudos for the change and for admitting eating your own dog food. Just hope it's not literal too :p

  3. @Pedro- "I really doubt anyone serious will browse this blog using one of those devices." Be serious man! In the last 30 days 2,953 readers (6.5%) were using iPads, 2127 readers (4.7%) were using iPhones and 1024 readers (2.7%) were using Android devices. Of course the point is not what what readers of this blog are doing but what your clients and the clients of your clients are doing.

    @all - BTW Notice the SPAM track back three comments above from PetloversNews.com... they are happy to see I'm "eating my own dog food"! This spam comment is just too funny to delete!

  4. I guess where you are people really use those devices with an apple logo on it. The market share is way way bigger. Where I am they are rarely seen. Most people use android or windows tablets. I use mine a lot during visits to display more information. Funny thing happened once when I sold my tablet to a client that had an ipad because he thought mine was really much better and supported flash. True was it costed 110€.
    But no problem, with html5 everyone is happy with any choice.

  5. The Brokerage with ~80% of my clients told their agents to get an iPad or get left behind in the dust.

    In the past year or so I would guess I see iPads in about a 1/3 of the listings I shoot.

    I live on St. Louis MO.

  6. The brokerage must have made some agreement with apple to do that kind of promotion. There's thousands of tablets on the market. why an ipad?

  7. Pedro,

    Why would Apple bother to make an arrangement with a franchised brokerage with about 125 Realtors[tm]?

    Isn't is more likely more buyers and sellers in our region use iPads compared to other tablets?

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