As many of you know I am a fan of the check-in social networks such as Foursquare (where I am a Level 2 Super User). I check-in to GetGlue on a regular basis for shows and movies and more and I have ordered my stickers more than once to be sent to me in real life.
However, one of the issues I have with these sites is they seem to lack respect for our privacy in some of the simplest ways. The services all ask you when you check-in what other social media services you’d like to post your activity to – such as Twitter or Facebook. (This, of course, assumes you’ve connected the accounts to each of the check-in services.) The problem with privacy occurs when I uncheck those boxes asking if I want to share to Facebook and/or Twitter. Often times, GetGlue and Foursquare just straight up don’t listen.
Now, I don’t mean the actual check-in itself is sent to the various social networks but it is often the case that things within the GetGlue or Foursquare ecosystem as a result of your check-in are posted directly to Facebook or Twitter without your consent. Read more…
GetGlue is a relatively new service which brings the popular concept of a check-in (like on Foursquare or Facebook Places) to TV, Movies, Books, Music, & a variety of other topics. The service self-describes itself in its FAQ as “a service that helps you find your next favorite movie, book, music album or other every day thing…. GetGlue shows you things that you’ll like based on your personal tastes, what your friends like, and what’s most popular on GetGlue.”
GetGlue also allows you to collect Stickers on their website for doing different things and tuning into different TV shows or movies or topics. A lot of people have taken to collecting these stickers religiously even if they do not actually care about the thing the sticker is attached to. There are even websites/blogs devoted to the collection of GetGlue stickers like this one GetGlue Sticker FAQ because much like the way Foursquare works with its badges GetGlue do not tell you themselves how exactly to get the stickers. They often do give hints in the description of the sticker as to how it may be obtained but more often than not they will they spell it out for you.
Many shows/networks/companies have specific stickers that they have signed deals with GetGlue to create for fans of their shows. Fringe is one of those shows and as you can see in the image below I have almost all except for one of the Fringe stickers available. What is also really cool, and what you may have noticed in the picture above (on the left hand side of it, in the yellow box) is that once you reach 20 stickers GetGlue will actually SEND YOU (by snail mail) the physical versions of those stickers which you have earned as long as it has been 30 days since your previous order, you are eligible to request them.
They send about 20 stickers at a time, the amount that a lil’ old stamp can carry. They also will only send what’s currently in stock. Once you order you should have your stickers in 4 – 6 weeks. There doesn’t seem to be a limit to where you can have your stickers mailed to.
Now here’s the problem: “Some stickers can only be earned by checking-in on a specific day during a specific time – these stickers are limited and exclusive and will not be available outside of this window.” Though GetGlue is available internationally they do not reflect it in their stickers. If a show is premiering in the USA you have to check in to it if you want the special sticker for the premiere even if it won’t premiere in your country for a days or even months. I understand that the stickers are sponsored by networks or companies within the USA and that is why they are tied to US release dates but how is that really fair? Is GetGlue encouraging everyone outside of the USA to cheat & just check-in to shows/movies even when they arent actually watching them so they can get the sticker to add to their collection? Are these ‘cheat’ check-ins wrong? I don’t think they are because what are we supposed to do. Are we not entitled to these stickers if we are watching the shows in our home countries on TV when they are released? Is GetGlue encouraging us to download media (illegally) in our home countries in order to not be lying about our check-ins?
Realistically the company that made the show and commissioned the stickers are making money from their international customers by selling the broadcast rights to the shows internationally. As well, the shows showing up on more people’s GetGlue feeds and Twitter feeds and Facebook feeds only serves to benefit them in terms of advertising the existence and popularity of the show. Why then, can GetGlue not tie the stickers to the IP of the device/computer accessing the GetGlue servers to decide whether or not to award the sticker to them? I suspect many GetGlue users who are fans of Spartacus in Canada were quite disappointed when they checked-in to the show on Sunday evening (the premiere of the show in Canada) only to find that the premiere of the show had been on Friday in the USA on Starz and as such they were ineligible to gain this limited time badge because they didn’t check-in during the premiere (even though the ones who watched it, legally, on TV did check-in during the premiere).
It sort of sucks and as such I do not feel it is cheating to check-in to a show in advance (even if it’s days & weeks in advance) if you plan on watching it when it actually airs in your country. What do you think?