Introducing my social network app for expats living in Thailand, Farang Society.

mobile view of www.farangsociety.com

I created Farang Society because I believe that the future of social networking will be smaller communities based on shared interests. Farang Society is a tested, fully responsive, production quality app built with Ruby on Rails, Amazon S3, Jquery, Postgres, Bootstrap, html/css, Heroku, Sendgrid and Digial Ocean.

My goal was to have an attractive user interface, but it also had to be simple and bug free.

I went through the details of programming Slim Mode in this article.

Farang Society is integrated via SSO login with a cloud hosted (Digital Ocean) Discourse message board. Via background jobs, JSON data of user created content is pulled from Discourse, parsed and displayed on Farang Society. Likewise, content from our models, is used to create new topics on Discourse via the Discourse API.

forum.farangsociety.com
desktop view of www.farangsociety.com

Creating Farang Society, I knew I wanted to take advantage of web scraping to help gather content and news stories (while not stealing any intellectual property).

This evolved into Somchai Bot, cutely dressed like a Thai motorcycle driver. Notice the flag and gender ring. It was important to me that we had an easy and aesthetic way of identifying user nationality and gender.

He collects food photos for me from the popular Thai foodie websites and then I approve (using a Boolean attribute column) the ones that I want to keep in an administration portal.

I use the same method for gathering news stories. I collect them using scrapers from the various news outlets and then hand pick what I think is most interesting.

We use will_paginate and ajax to remotely paginate two different article types on the same page. Users can save articles for feature viewing.

You might recognize the design pattern of our community index. :)

Our simple, beautiful and effective user search feature.

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