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Corporate communications + Public Relations Adelaide

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September 2010

Get Glue: is it sticky enough?

Hot on the heels of my Miso review, today I’m writing about another ‘couch potato’ application called Get Glue.

First off – let’s hear it for couch potatoes. We can’t be jogging and surfing all day, can we? On our couches, we can be reading the greatest piece of literature or watching a documentary that will change our world. We all need to put our feet up and feed the brain some time.

Get Glue logo, glue bottle
Get Glue

So, to Get Glue.

I considered Get Glue pointless when I started using it a few weeks ago. (This may be because I was already using Miso. They are quite similar and as a Foursquare user too, I’m getting Check-in Fatigue).

At the Get Glue sign up stage on a  PC, I was treated to what felt like endless lists of movies, books, albums, actors and so on, in order to rate whether I liked them or not. The first 60 seconds was fun; the next two minutes became onerous; the final minute felt like a pointless invasion of privacy. So I left Get Glue for a few days.

Then I downloaded the iPhone and iPad apps to play with it properly. It became slightly more comfortable to relax back and rate a few of my favourite things and read a comment here and there. But the question remained: what am I getting out of it?

Yes, Get Glue allows you to share what you’re consuming. But we can do that on Facebook. In fact, if you remember the Facebook sign-up stage oh so long ago, it asks you what your favourite bands/TV shows/books are.

What’s more, Facebook has, for a long time, enabled third party applications that allow you to share what you’re reading and watching with friends. Remember iLike, the music app? I’ve got a box tab for it, but haven’t updated it in ages. What about Books in Living Social?

On Facebook, we don’t seem to stick with these check-in apps. After a few novelty check-ins, we forget to update what we’re listening to / reading. It’s just too onerous to continue to update, so we return to the tried and true status update only. In addition – there’s no reward for sharing our media consumption on Facebook [note: the Facebook Credits tsunami may sweep in and change this one day].

Will applications like Miso and Get Glue step in where Facebook has failed? Or will they be short-term ventures that, like the Facebook apps, die from neglect?

I’ve read some reviews of Get Glue and they all state what it does and how much “fun” it is. BUT WHY DOES IT EXIST? There is very little questioning of how it fits within our culture and its potential impact.

Here are a few uses I’m pondering:

  • Use Get Glue as a recommendation tool.  I’m reading Cat in the Hat, so Get Glue recommends The Lorax.  I’m listening to Nickelback, so Get Glue recommends I shoot myself [did you see what I did there? I’ll blog more on this later, because the ‘recommendations industry’ is starting to vex me. Just because I downloaded one Katy Perry song, it doesn’t mean you need to keep serving Pop up to me – hear me, iTunes?!]
  • For industry / The Machine. Get Glue could turn into a massive database of reviews, providing information on the network’s Most Popular Everything. If it takes off, it will no doubt become another important space for the marketing and PR industries to try to influence. “If it makes it on Get Glue, it’ll make it anywhere …”
  • Self-branding. It’s said that potential employers and even romantic partners check out our social networking profiles. How cool would it be, if your future employer thought you read Dostoyevsky and you always tuned into news and current affairs? Will that cute girl like you more if you check in to Bondi Vet? (Of course, this could lead to award conversations down the track …)
  • Encouraging us to consume.  There are many books under the Get Glue ‘literature’ category that I haven’t read yet. The list reminded me of all the great titles I had planned to read over the years. I felt compelled to rush to the library and borrow them all. It’s a combination of peer pressure and internal aspiration. Of course, this will work differently for all users. Some will feel compelled to watch more Kardashian. Thus, it’s not all good news for the world.

Finally, Get Glue also contains ‘topics’. So you can discuss and rate just about anything under the sun. Why would you do that, when you can discuss topics in other, more popular social networks? I do not know.

As always, I encourage you to use the app yourself and make your own judgement. The best part of Get Glue so far is being reminded of all the great movies, songs and books you’re enjoyed over the years. That’s worth a smile – and the app is free. There’s another smile for you.

We Came, We Swarmed, We Almost Conquered …

Adelaide had its first Foursquare Swarm recently. Friday 27 August, to be exact.

What’s a swarm? you ask. What’s Foursquare, you ask? [read my blog from a long time ago ..]

Adelaide Foursquare Swarm August 2010, pic by @charlierobinson
It's hard work, this swarm organising ...

When 50 people check into the same Foursquare location within an hour of each other, it’s designated a ‘swarm’ and you’re awarded a swarm badge. Foursquare awards all sorts of virtual badges for your use of its service, starting with the newbie badge. [On this particular day, some people also earned other badges such as Player Please, when you check into a location with 3 members of the opposite sex].

In Australia in particular, the swarm badge is very hard to earn – we don’t have the Foursquare population to make it easily achievable.

I had the idea a few months ago, when I saw a tweet about a Sydney advertising agency that had set the record for the largest swarm in Oz. They had 265 people check in at an event. That set me thinking: the record doesn’t seem that large. Adelaide might just be able to break it.

Did we break it? Nah. But we had achieved Adelaide’s first swarm and had about 117 people congregate at Adelaide Central Market’s China Town district during their Friday lunch hour.

So what’s the big deal? And why did we do it?

There’s a number of reasons:

  1. It’s nice to be first. Foursquare is gradually taking off in South Australia. While it’s still not known to most of the population (hey, most South Aussies still aren’t using Twitter), the numbers are steadily rising and when it hits the younger, music festival-attending crowd, we’re likely to see many more swarms this summer. But we were part of the very first one in Adelaide.
  2. It’s good to test these things out. We were quite a crowd, on that sunny Friday lunch time. The businesses surrounding us didn’t know what it was about, but they could see something was happening. Passersby looked at us curiously. We had a few clever businesses on Twitter attempt to provide an offer to Foursquare swarm attendees. Imagine if a) more businesses were aware a crowd would be there b) I had been arsed to try and organise some attractive promotions for the people attending …  In future, if Adelaide businesses do become Foursquare savvy, the landscape for swarms could change entirely. “If we achieve a swarm today, it’s 50% off”. That sounds nice.
  3. We wanted to get out of the office. Too often, social media enthusiasts are called bedroom-dwellers who need to ‘get a real life’. The opposite is true. Social media enthusiasts are usually keen to get out and share a meal or a drink, to meet new people, make connections and learn from each other. It’s not easy to walk out of your front door and go meet a stranger – but we do it. Events like this, and other Adelaide tweetups through #socadl and #atub, show that we’re using social media to congregate and make friends. The swarm was a very public demonstration of that. The other thing I loved about the swarm: the variety of people there. All ages, with a mix of professionals and students.
  4. We wanted the badge! Fellow swarm organiser @twillyon postponed his skiing holiday to take part. That’s dedication! [Then he actually earned the badge a week earlier at LAX during a US social media conference trip]. Another organiser, @malchia, ducked out of a Marketing Week lunch –  the massive culmination to a week-long fest in Adelaide that the advertising and comms community rails around – to make it to the swarm. My husband @cave_man_dave knocked off work early, and his mate @jballstars started his holidays early to attend. It’s just something that Foursquare enthusiasts didn’t want to miss.

A big thank you to @stephenyarwood @twillyon and @malchia for being part of the swarm team: they’re affable and energetic guys who would’ve had fun if nobody had turned up.

There were lots of photos taken by the people who ‘swarmed’ with me. Twitpic has just a few under the #AdelSwarm tag.

Further reading:

Foursquare Swarm Breakfast a Winner for Vivo Cafe

Are Foursquare Swarm Parties Cooler than Facebook Cocktail Parties?

Restaurant Owner Increases Sales by 110% with Foursquare Swarm Badge Party

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