Social Networks in Entertainment: Get Glue

I went to the movies last week on a Friday night after a long time.  As I was sitting there waiting for the film to start I noticed how full the movie hall was and how many users were pulling out their smart-phones and using it.  I began to think about the business potential .  Imagine creating a mobile application that could capture this audience and keep them engaged.  I started to have some ideas about what that could be.  So when I got home I started to do some Google vodoo to see if I could find anything that came close to some of my ideas.  While I did not find what I was looking for I did come across a social network that was doing something very interesting in the entertainment area, called “Glue”.  I decided to try it out and well here is my review of the service.

Glue – www.getglue.com

I like this social network site which basically allows you to rate movies, TV shows,music, books and even some electronic gear.  Its really easy to use and very addictive.  The barrier to entry is low. The site supports a one-click login through the new Facebook Identity federation button.  By the way I just love this integration feature from Facebook and  I am not worried about privacy issues when it comes to this connivence.  Once you logon to the site you are presented with about 20 items to like or not like which takes you all of two minutes.  At that point I wanted more and I spet almost a half hour on the site before I knew it.  The site rewards users with badges, which really does work and by recognizing users as gurus of a particular topic.  You can delve deeper into the site by giving reviews on movies or providing more detailed ranking on an item that you liked.

The site will make recommendations to you after it learns about your preferences and for the most part I have found the recommendations to contain content that I actually enjoyed and did not know about before.  These are two very important attributes for any social site to keep the user engaged.

The design of the wall site is really simple and uses a lot of white space and big fonts.  This makes reading the content easy but displays very little content on the screen.  To view more content you are forced to scroll down.  Im my personal opinion I would have tighten things up slightly and tied to get a little more content on the Recommendation Wall.

Glue's homepage makes use of a lot of white space as part of its design strategy.

There is also an awesome Google Chrome plugin for the site which when you browse sites like Amazon or Apple Trailers automatically appears as a small dashboard on the bottom of your browser.  The Dashboard allows you to see other people who like that book or trailer that you are watching and gives you the chance to Like! or Not Like! immediately.

The Glue dashboard automatically appears when visiting a site that glue recognizes like Amazon or Apple Trailers allowing you to easily have a social experience and share your like preferences.

I really liked this social startup and I think it is going to do really well.  They also have mobile applications for both the iPhone and for Android phones.  Hope they also bring an app to the Nokia platform soon.  The mobile web page just does not cut it for this day and age.

Glue competes directly with Miso and TunerFish.  I have not used these other sites.  I did visit them and what turned me off immediately was the singularity of their focus.  Both these services focus on TV Shows and no other social object.  I find that a major limitation. I can imagine its just a matter of time till more content is added.  Its just likely that Glue will be much farther ahead by that time.

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Posted in Mobile Phones, Social, Technology | 4 Comments

Micro-computers on Airplanes and a Futuristic Idea

One of the trends that I see happening as we move into the future is the pervasiveness of computers everywhere.   I also see these computers becoming smaller and smaller and varying in different functionalities.  One such functionality that I envision would be sensors.  These sensors would contain both information and be able to talk to different sensors or computers.  An example use case would solve a pet peve of mine.

Imagine a plugged-in airplane with microsensors talking to our smart phones.

When I fly from Canada to any other country I need to usually fill in a customs card.  I hate doing this.  I hate having to during my flight grab my passport, find a pen, pull down the food tray, and start filling out the card.  The card then asks for the flight information which for some reason I never remember so once again I have to pull out the boarding card and hope I can still find it.

I hate this process and find it really annoying.

With sensors and mobile computers, such as our smart phone why not stream line this process.  Air planes could be pre-programmed with sensors that would have all the flight details such as, the Flight destination, port information, and te flight number.  This way when I board the airplane the sensor could wirelessly communicate with my smart phone fill in the flight information for me automatically.  All my passport and personal detail could be imported into my “virtual mobile custom card application” (VMCCA).  A password would be neeeded or some kind of bio-metric hardware like a fingerprint reader to unlock the personal data.  After all protecting passport details and personal data is still a top priority.

Presto that silly customs card that I needed to fill in comes pre-filled with all relative information.  All I need to do is fill in the purpose of my trip and if I am returning home, how much I spent.  I might also need to enter an address for where I will be staying or fill in the card for multiple family members.  The application would easily integrate with my address book and I could grab all the contact details that I need.  There is very little to no typing needed.  No struggling to find or borrow a pen and no reaching into my bag to grab my passport or boarding card.

When I land I can send this information ahead of time to the custom officiers with a simple click on a “SEND” button and stream line the process.  Imagine that!

Posted in Commentry, Mobile Phones, Technology | 1 Comment

Time Management from Chris Brogan

Just watched this video from Chris Brogan, who I find as both  influential and interesting when it comes to social media.  You can follow him at chrisbrogan.com.  This video is his take on Time Management and how we choose to use our time.  Just watch and see.

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What is the Bored At Work Network?

I came across this term today “Bored At Work Network” (BWN).  It kind of struck a chord with me.  I think at one point or the other we all might be part of this network and if you have never been in that group then “rock on”, you’ve got a great job.  The BWN really does exist for many and it has been identified as part of a viral marketing strategy.  The idea is the the BWN are people who use social networks, like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and can take your social media and distribute it till the content becomes viral.

Here is a great presentation that I came across today discussing the idea along with some other interesting ideas.

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Google Reader and other RSS Readers on Symbian Phones

RSS, Really Simple Syndication. Really?  RSS has been around what seems like ages.  Its just the de-facto way for me to read content from the Internet.  Yet this weekend when I tried to read RSS feeds on my symbian phone I felt like I was back in the dark ages.  I just could not get the kind of experience that users on an iPhone can get.

Google Reader is a web based RSS Reader that is loved and used by many.  The Google Reader integration on the Safari Browser for the iPhone is almost on par with the experience on the desktop.  While I find the iPhone version fails on innovation its still a decent reading experience.  The Google Reader experience on a Symbian Phone is simply a list of RSS feeds.  That was cool maybe a few eons ago but now its just sucks.  Navigating to different feeds is really cumbersome and the UX is just no longer engaging.  Symbian phones are better now and the user expereicnce needs to be on par.

Browsing the OVI store I saw only three choices for reading RSS feeds.  None of which where customizable or well designed.  For such an integral feature on a mobile platform why is the experience so poor?  I asked myself the question is there no demand?  If there is no demand how much of that can be directly linked to the poor design RSS Readers?

I really hope that Google finds the talent and time to improve this experience on other mobile platforms other then their own and the iPhone.  There are a lot of users who are waiting for it.

Posted in Google, iPhone, Mobile Phones | Leave a comment

More on Google’s integration with Social Content

I am really a huge fan of integrating our social circle into the tools that we use every day.  What better tool other then Google to do this integration.  I wrote about this in an earlier post.  I found two other great posts from LifeHacker and an awesome video explaining this idea and showing what Google is doing today.

See What Google Knows about your Social Circle

Google Integrate Your friends Social Content into your Search Results

Posted in Google, Social | Leave a comment

Facebook Pages: Marketing Strategy unveiled

If you are like me you have casually come across Facebook Pages and not really been inclined to interact on these Pages.  It seems to be the case that many brands have not fully developed a strategy for using this powerful Marketing Tool.  An independent report identified eight criterias for marketing success on Facebook Pages and then ranked 30 major brands.  Pampers ranked as one of the top brands while Xerox was the lowest.  Its an excellent read.  Here is a link to the report.

Here are the eight factors for ease of reference:

  1. Set community Expectations
  2. Provide cohesive branding
  3. Be up to date
  4. Live Authenticity
  5. Participate in Dialog
  6. Enable peer-to-peer interactions
  7. Foster advocacy
  8. Solicit a call to action

I think its critical today for every business to create a brand awarness.  Social communities have made it very difficult for companies to control their brand image.  Recomendations from social networking peers have a higher influence on the perception of  a firm’s brand.  Some reports go so far to say its almost impossible to control your brand image.  Having a Facebook Page Marketing strategy is not only a good idea but essential in today’s social networking age.

It will not be long before we will be saying to each other, “Check out company XYZ’s Facebook Page” when trying to find vital information about different companies.

Posted in Facebook, Social | Leave a comment