Glue That Binds Us

3 12 2010

I love living at the corner of Paradigm and Shift. There’s always a ton of traffic. Sometimes it flows freely and fast, everyone intent on getting somewhere. And other times it grinds to a halt as people figure out where they’re going.

Or a Luddite tries to cross against traffic.

But right now, the social media parade is blasting through town, and we’re all welcome to join the fun.

Facebook reunites us with all of our friends and family. Twitter brings us the latest breaking news. FourSquare, Gowalla and Facebook Places let us tell everyone where in the world we are.

But unless you are content to just use FB to broadcast every other element and artifact of your life, there is a gaping hole in the social graph.

And that’s where GetGlue provides yet another dose of stickiness to our online experience.

GetGlue is to books, TV shows, movies, etc. (think entertainment) what Gowalla and FourSquare are to geo-location. I call the emerging genre situational social networks, and GG is but one of several trying to carve out a corner of the landscape.

The fun (and potentially lucrative) part of GG is that it is really ajust a huge suggestion engine. The more information you provide (viewing and reading habits), the more it knows about you. And then the more it can suggest to you.

Oh yeah…and advertise.

Naturally, GetGlue fully integrates with Facebook and Twitter, so all of our adoring fans can see what we’re up to. And we can also make new friends within GetGlue’s own social strata. Like fans of Glee. Folks who have read Liz Gilbert’s Eat Pray Love and also saw the movie this summer.

Luddites and naysayers alike will howl at the prospect of people telling ever more little factoids of their lives, but, just like YouTube in the video sense, social media are all about broadcasting ourselves. We can choose how much and what content, as well as the frequency of the programming. And we can choose how much of others’s content we wish to consume. What was once conveniently labeled TMI (Too Much Information) is now accepted as Everyone’s Information.

Unfortunately, all of this status updating requires a phone full of apps, and the patience of one’s friends while you check in at every turn. “I’m at United Artist Theaters” reads our Gowalla check-in. “Watching Tron” says our GetGlue post. “My fingers are tired” mourns our FB update. And “I’m not sure I could even tap 140 characters anymore” confesses our Twitter feed.

Still, GetGlue provides a valuable purpose to those of us who love to share those things we are doing, those shows, movies and books in which we have become so engaged. After all, we have been doing this sort of social sharing for decades, even centuries, by mere word-of-mouth. GetGlue just makes it a heck of a lot easier.

I may not watch much TV, but I have “my” shows (Survivor, The Big Bang Theory, The Office and “How I Met Your Mother, but I do enjoy talking about them. And I have a voracious appetite for books. A quick glance around the Gerlich living space will reveal those passions…books counted in hundreds and a cozy media center.

As I watch the traffic at this metaphoric intersection, I cannot help but wonder what the Next Big Thing will be. There’s still a lot of folks trying to get used to just basic Facebook and Twitter. Gowalla and GetGlue would simply blow their minds. There’s parking at the curb if you need to take a break, or simply don’t like the street we’re all on.

As for me, I’m stuck on all of it. Like Super Glue between my fingers. Like Letterman to a Velcro wall. Like the current book on my nightstand.

But you’ll have to check my FB or GG feed to read about that.

Dr “Glue Gun” Gerlich



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