Take Get Glue, for example.
About a year ago, I was driving in my car, listening to music, when I thought, “Why doesn’t somebody start a social network like Foursquare, but instead of checking into physical locations, you check into albums, movies, books, TV shows and other forms of culture and entertainment? This would have endless appeal for media geeks such as myself, I theorized.
Fast forward to a couple months ago. I’m furiously scanning Mashable in anticipation of our weekly PR 3.0 meeting, when I come across news about a new social network that lets you do that very thing. It’s called Get Glue, and I instantly raced over to the site to create a profile.
Unfortunately, after a couple of weeks, I quickly grew tired of it, and I haven’t posted anything since. My issues with the site were varied, and some weren’t even Get Glue’s fault. I’ll try to break them down quickly:
1) Get Glue is modeled after Foursquare. Instead of earning badges, you earn stickers for repeatedly checking into a particular musician, director, genre, etc. You can also compete with other Get Glue users to become the guru of a particular show or movie.
The problem is, I already know that I’m a Darren Aronofsky fanatic. I really don’t need a web site to confirm this, and it hardly seems worth the time it takes to enter in the information or lobby the votes necessary or whatever it takes to become a guru. Of course, I don’t exactly understand how to become a guru, nor do I care to spend the time to learn, so there’s that.
If Get Glue wants to improve the user experience, it should make it more apparent how, exactly, one earns stickers, guru-ships and other virtual rewards.
2) The very person that Get Glue is intended for, the media enthusiast, already spends an absurd portion of his or her day taking in movies, music, comics or whatever. The last thing I need is to then have to spend extra time entering in what I’ve watched on Get Glue, especially when there seems to be so little reward. In the case of Foursquare, I have time to kill waiting for my server to bring me a drink, when I can check-in. With Get Glue, I have to pause the movie or TV show I’m watching to be able to check-in. I’m not one of those people who’s content to half-experience a show while I’m doing a million other things.
3) This is the most important reason, and it’s actually two reasons. Get Glue is too specific, and none of my friends are on it. Why would I bother taking the time to report the media I take in on Get Glue when I can report it on Facebook and Twitter. On those sites, I have a fair amount of friends and followers who can comment, interact and reply with suggestions and media-consuming stories of their own. On Get Glue, the only people I interacted with were folks with fake names and not a whole lot to say that I couldn’t find elsewhere.
While Get Glue aims to cater to music and movie geeks, as far as I can see, the site doesn’t attract them in greater numbers than other social networks. Its specificity works against it because readers aren’t only readers. We’re also interested in food, politics, fashion, history, science, and so many other topics. On Facebook, I can discuss all of these, and movies, music and literature.
Sure, this kind of thinking is unfair. At one time, Facebook was small enough that all of your friends weren’t on it. It took time and word-of-mouth for it to grow into the conversational juggernaut it is today. In many ways, Twitter is still in those growth stages, and may never reach the juggernaut level because of Facebook. Unfortunately, fair or not, I’ve only got so many hours of my day to horse around on social networks, and Get Glue just isn’t sticky enough to keep me fixed to the screen any longer than I already am.
But perhaps you’ll find yourself more attached than I am. Could be you’re a better multitasker or find the lack of focus on Facebook distracting. If you do find yourself sticking with Get Glue, I ask three favors:
1) Come back and tell me what it was that made you a fan.
2) Share your most embarrassing sticker with me (mine’s the Dan Brown sticker)
3) Explain to me, exactly, how the heck becoming a guru works