Foursquare and Gowalla - two of today's leading location-based social networks - introduced us to the power of "check-ins." However, all such networks were based on location and identifying venues for users and followers while on-the-go!. For those, that may be a little bit mobile-challenged and prefer to check-in without leaving the comfort of one's couch, GetGlue.com might just be the social network for you!
As outlined in the video, GetGlue users "check-in" to their favorite movies, books and TV shows via the network or its corresponding mobile app, alerting friends, followers and fans of their favorites, while vying for points and rewards in the process via ratings. Like other Web 2.0 social engagement, the "glue" comes from referrals from those you trust, who have invested time in vetting various mediums of entertainment.
Alex IskoldWhen GetGlue migrated from a browser add-on called "Blue Organizer" to a full blown destination social network Web site, it started to scale exponentially. While GetGlue averages about 600,000 active users, founder Alex Iskold estimates that every thousand user-mentions that occur on the site/app, a half of million people are subsequently reached on Twitter along with another 250,000 on Facebook.
While "Mad Men" and "True Blood" have garnered a significant following on GetGlue, one of the site's more recent partners is HBO's "Boardwalk Empire." Commencing with the show's debut on September 19, the movie-premiere channel prompts users to check-in to earn the first 12 exclusive "virtual stickers." Each sticker is available weekly and features a whisky glass to reinforce the theme of "prohibition" which taps into one of the main characters of the show - the alcohol.
Here you can see how the 12 weeks evolve from moderate drinking ("LIT") to extreme consumptions ("FRIED to the Hat"), as each sticker is representative of a whiskey glass that progressively gets filled with each succeeding episode.
Unfortunately, the stickers can only be earned on Sundays during the show, and are not available otherwise. So, if you miss one episode and/or are not "glued" in, your collection will not be complete.
As far as the ratings, Iskold makes points that the "ratings are huge for us." While checking-in is obviously important, the real "glue" of the network is ratings. As users add ratings, they build up their 'taste profile,' with potential for thousands of data points. And then based on preferences, GetGlue will start issuing recommendations that are appropriate for each active user. Big brand partners like HBO and ABC will incent users with exciting rewards to keep them engaged in their TV shows over time.
So for the sedentary that have poo-pooed the "check-in mania" fever with services like Foursquare and Gowalla, GetGlue is your opportunity to see what all the fuss was about. It's the next shiny thing that will be adding a lot of "couch potatoes" to its rolls, in short order (puns intended).