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App of the Week: GetGlue

I am a big fan of movies, music, games—media, basically. Being a long-time Foursquare user, I have become quite comfortable with “checking-in”, but I had never been familiar with checking in anywhere but locations. With GetGlue you check in everywhere but locations. I had heard of GetGlue before; but being constantly bombarded with trying to remember to use Foursquare, Gowalla, and attempt to rate places with HotPot, I never really used it. I have a few friends who use GetGlue and tell me it’s pretty cool, so I decided to give it a shot myself.

This is an app review, but for you to understand what I am saying about the app, I must first explain to you GetGlue itself. GetGlue is a service that allows you to check in to certain things like listening to music, playing a game, reading a book, etc. All of the things you check in to are mainly hobbies and things people do for fun. It integrates with Twitter and Facebook, so whenever you check in on GetGlue you can share it to all of your followers on Twitter or friends on Facebook.

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Not only can you check into things, but you can also rate and review things. If you really like something and find yourself frequently checking into it, you can rate it using GetGlue. After rating it you have the option to go in-depth about why you like it by writing a review. This can be really helpful on discovering new things. GetGlue attempts to help you discover new things that are related to what you like by following users. If you check in to something you can see what other people check in to it and follow them to see what else they check in to. This includes everything GetGlue supports so you can find a new book to read because you followed someone who plays World of Warcraft. GetGlue strives to make the things that we do social, and for the most part, it succeeds.

Now to talk about app itself. If you haven’t ever used GetGlue before, you can setup your account and link it to your Facebook and Twitter right from the app. When you open the app, you are greeted with a main menu. The main menu has a bar at the top. The bar contains the page for Checking In, Stream, Rate/Pick, Stickers, and You.

At the check-in screen, obviously, you check in. As I said before you check in to hobbies such as Reading a Book, Watching a Movie, Playing a Game, Thinking about a Topic, Chatting about a Celebrity, and Drinking Wine (?).  When you click one of these options, you search for whatever it is you are doing. Most of the things you look for will be there, and I have never actually encountered something that I was doing that wasn’t there. If you ever can’t find what you are looking for, however, at the bottom of you search you can email GetGlue so they can add it for you. After you find what you were looking for, you just tap it and check in. You can also add a little comment to your check in (much like shouting on Foursquare).

The second tab is the stream tab. The stream tab is a Twitter-style column of the things everyone you follow is doing. The use of this tab really depends on how many people you are “subscribed to” (follow). If you subscribe to a lot of people, then you will find yourself frequently checking this tab to see who is doing what. However, if you either aren’t interested in who you are subscribed to or aren’t subscribed to anyone, you may not find yourself checking your stream too often.

The third tab is the rate/pick tab. In this tab you are greeted with different things you can rate or like. These things correspond to the things you can check in to such as Movie Stars, or TV Shows. This tab functions similarly to the check in tab in that you search and find what you want. In the rate/pick tab, though, you just find what you like and either like or dislike it. This tab is also where you can post reviews to the things you are interested in.

The next tab is Stickers. Stickers are GetGlue’s way of rewarding you for checking in. This is much like the way Foursquare gives you badges for doing certain things. For example, if you check in using an Android phone (you better be) than you receive the “Droider” sticker. If you get certain amounts of Stickers than you can redeem them and GetGlue.com, but until you reach that amount they basically just give you bragging rights and attempt to boost you social networking self-esteem. Many people collect Stickers, and many don’t care; either way I find it a cool addition and incentive to keep people coming back to check in.

The last tab in the menu is the You tab. In the tab you just view your profile and see who is subscribes to you and who you are subscribed to. You can also see your recent check ins and your stickers. This tab is just a basic profile viewer.

GetGlue is a solid service. It is fun to use and play with, especially if you have friends that also use it. I like that it integrates with Twitter and Facebook so I can get my other friends to join as well. The app itself functions and does what it is supposed to for the most part. The one thing I wish I could change about the app however is the resolution. This app can be very ugly; not because of the UI, but because of how the resolution looks so low and cheap. This is not something that should really keep you from using it, but it still needs to be fixed. Other than that this app and service is great, and that is why I have chosen GetGlue as this week’s App of the Week.

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about the writer: Elijah Ketchum is a 15 year old sophomore in High School in Cincinnati OH. His Android experience started with the Motorola Droid. He enjoys everything about Android and convincing his iPhone fan boy classmates to switch. He recently convinced his father, a long term Blackberry user to switch to a Motorola Droid X. Like Elijah’s writing? Have advice? email [email protected]