Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The end of an era...

tl;dr version: I'm getting out of the FAQ-maintaining business. Head over to for sticker guides if you're needing info on anything newer than what's been posted here. The forum here will remain open for anyone who wants to keep using it and the sticker reminder calendar will remain active, but there will be no future posts here on how to earn specific stickers.

The long version: How one guy wrote a FAQ and then got burned out, hard.

About a year ago I discovered GetGlue. It was a neat little check-in based social network / service that was centered around media activities instead of forcing the users to broadcast to the world where they were or trying to get them to find more and more "friends". I signed up for it because I thought it was a cool idea and because I knew I'd be able to earn some of the award stickers they made available to the users (one of the disadvantages of living in BFE is that you're never going to be able to use a service like Foursquare effectively). I jumped on the bandwagon, started earning stickers, and met some really cool people in the process. I ended up becoming one of the power users of the site, racking up sticker after sticker after sticker, and in the process I started to realize something was amiss over in GetGlue Land. People were asking me and the other power-users how to earn stickers a lot more often than one would have expected. It turned out that it was GetGlue's policy to not divulge the requirements for earning a sticker, because it takes away from the "fun" of using the site. How "driving yourself mad while checking-in to everything under the sun, trying to figure out how to get a sticker to trigger" equates to "fun" is beyond me, but that's neither here nor there. After answering a newbie's question on how to get the "Magnetic" sticker for the umpteenth time, I decided to take action. If no one over at GetGlue was going to provide a FAQ for sticker requirements then I should do it.

So I did it. I grabbed a copy of my own sticker list as well as the sticker list of a fellow power-user that I was using as a checklist, and started filling in the blanks. At the time there were under 300 stickers in total but it was still a daunting task. I tried my best to provide the proper information to go with the check-ins so other users could earn the stickers they wanted. I set up the reminder calendar, forums, a Twitter feed and I watched it grow while trying to keep up a 0-day update schedule on sticker postings.

Time passes, as it does, and over the past nine months I have become increasingly disillusioned with GetGlue. It was fun at first, playing the game-within-a-game, trying to figure out the sticker requirements, seeing who could be the first to get the sticker to pop, et cetera. I created the FAQ because I got sick of seeing people flailing around, trying unsuccessfully to get things to work. I got tired of doing GetGlue's job for them, answering question after question from the newbies that came to the power-users for help because GetGlue wouldn't give them any help. But most of all, I got tired of GetGlue in general. Sticker awarding glitches were hand-waved away with canned responses that amounted to "oh, you must not be doing it right" (no, we were following what you set forth as the rules before, your system was just broken). Their attempt to introduce QR codes as a check-in method was a major source of outrage for the community (let's just award the stickers to the privileged few that just happen to be able to get to the code, shall we? Thank goodness we broke that code quickly). Numerous UI changes were made, many of them not for the better. Moving the goalposts in regards to sticker requirements (e.g. turning Season Superfan stickers into what basically equals Full Season stickers without prior warning) has happened more and more frequently. These are just a few of the things that I've seen, and in the process the fun has been sucked out of using the site. It's not the same place it was when I discovered it. The social interaction has been replaced by a Skinner Box-like interface where we click on a button like mindless rats, hoping a reward in the form of a sticker will appear. The chatter on topics is mostly gone, replaced by hordes of users checking-in with null comments that push any social interaction out of the way so that no one sees it. Users from other countries play the "let's see how many Gurus we can amass on the cool topics" game while spamming plagiarized reviews all over the site. And let's not forget the stalker-types that get their panties in a bunch and throw a hissy fit because they can't get enough followers to maintain a Guru, so they claim everyone is out to get them and then try and stir up drama using fake accounts. Requests for stickers go un-filled and then get blamed on the post office (here's a thought - how about you actually put our names on the envelopes instead of "GetGlue Fan" or our screen name from the site?). Support gives canned answers 90% of the time, with the exception being one shining ray of helpfulness. Suggestions for improvements for the site that would actually help users go ignored. Requirements for stickers get jerked back and forth like a cow in a tornado, and if we bug the Powers That Be about them moving the goalposts or screwing up the awarding of a sticker we get told that we were doing it wrong and don't qualify for the sticker, if we even get a reply at all. A friend once told me, "When it stops being fun and starts being work, that's the time to think about getting out." I've hit that point.

So to that end, there will be no further updates to this site. It will be left up, as a reference guide to what has gone before and a memorial to the fun that I had over the last year maintaining it. I'll still be around on GetGlue, the forums here will remain open, and the calendar will continue to be updated, but the updates here on the blog will cease.

For those of you who still enjoy GetGlue, I suggest you head over to Steven's site, - I'll be hanging out over there as well as the forums here, so feel free to catch me in either place.

It's been a fun ride. Thanks for joining me on it. Happy sticker hunting.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Forum Problems as well as general posting issues

Sorry for the inconvenience, but the forum is down right now due to some issues on Vanilla's end. I've entered a trouble ticket and hopefully it'll be fixed soon. Also, there have been some issues with posting to Blogger tonight and I haven't been able to get anything to post properly. I'm hoping this goes through. Sorry for the outages, guys. :(

Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban sticker

Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban

Beware of the Dementors! Conjure up a Patronus to shield yourself against despair by saying the words Expecto Patronum! Watch how the expert wizards and witches fend of Dementors when Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 opens in theaters on 7/15. Share this one proudly. It's from our friends at Warner Bros..

Req: Check-in to Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban starting 20 Jun, 2011
Note: This one is time-limited, just like the others, so be sure to grab it A.S.A.P.

Mr. Popper's Penguins Box Office sticker

Mr. Popper's Penguins Box Office

They may be a handful, but Mr. Popper's Penguins are quite an adorable bunch. Don't you wish you could keep a penguin as a pet now? Share this one proudly. It's from our friends at 20th Century Fox.

Req: Check-in to Mr. Popper's Penguins during its box office run starting 20 Jun, 2011

Green Lantern Box Office sticker

Green Lantern Box Office

You are now honorary members of the Green Lantern Corps. The brotherhood thanks you for protecting justice and peace in the universe-and for seeing the movie! Share this one proudly. It's from our friends at Warner Bros..

Req: Check-in to Green Lantern during its box office run starting 20 Jun, 2011

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Falling Skies: Mech and Skitter stickers

I want one!!!

Falling Skies: Mech

The mysterious Mechs present a threat to the 2nd Mass and humanity. What do you find most dangerous about them? Share this one proudly. It's from our friends at TNT.

Req: Check-in to Falling Skies during an airing and mention "mech"

With a face only their mother could love...
Falling Skies: Skitter

The aliens in Falling Skies have invaded, and it's up to the 2nd Mass to resist them. What do you think of Earth's newest residents? Share this one proudly. It's from our friends at TNT.

Req: Check-in to Falling Skies during an airing and mention "skitter"

New York Red Bulls Kickoff sticker

New York Red Bulls Kickoff

You're cheering on the New York Red Bulls on MSG or MSG+. What was your favorite play of the match? Share this one proudly. It's from our friends at MSG Network.

 Req: Live Check-in to the New York Red Bulls during one of their games