Sunday, February 20, 2011

On GetGlue and Moving the Goalposts

So I'm looking over the stickers for tonight and I see that they added an additional one for Episodes. Technically they added it in the last update, or maybe the one before, but that's not the point. The point is what the sticker appears to be awarded for. From the sticker's text:

"Isn't Episodes much better than Pucks? Thanks for watching every episode this season! Share this one proudly. It's from our friends at Showtime."

So basically what we have here is another sticker that's only going to be awarded to the people that checked-in to every episode of the show all season long. The problem with this is that they didn't tell us they would be awarding this sticker until well past halfway into the season. At this point there's probably more than a few people out there that missed a check-in. Either they forgot, or they got their Pucks sticker and quit checking-in because they figured there wouldn't be anymore until the finale, or when they sit down to watch a TV show their first inclination is NOT "OMG, I need to check-in to GetGlue" (I tend to fall under the latter category. But I digress.)

The point I'm trying to make here is that springing a sticker on the community in the eleventh hour that would have required the users to check-in for several weeks in a row falls under the category of "NOT COOL, MAN." This is a classic example of what one would call "moving the goalposts" - bad faith on the part of those setting goals for others to meet, by arbitrarily making additional demands just as the initial ones are about to be met.

I honestly can't recall if I've checked-in to every airing of Episodes this season. I think I did, but I'm not sure. But whether I did or not, the fact of the matter remains the same: GetGlue, if you're going to do stuff like requiring a full season's worth of check-ins for a show to get a specific award then you should let the fans know from the beginning. Otherwise you're going to end up with more than a few people with hurt feelings just because they missed one or two check-ins. If you need a reminder of how ticked off people can get by you changing the rules in mid-stream, look no further than the Boardwalk Empire season 1 series of stickers and the hubbub that surrounded them at the end of the season.


  1. It's not "moving the goal posts". It's just rewarding those that are loyal to GetGlue and checking in. It shouldn't be JUST about the stickers. GG is about the community and about the checking in, and if others signed in every episode without the promise of reward, there's no reason not to actually reward that loyalty and commitment. Admittedly, I'm the kind that will log in to shows that I'm not immediately watching, or would ever be caught dead with the show on, just for the sticker, but, hey, I missed checking in on the first few Spartacus episodes, but that's on me. So, stop whining and if you want stickers... CHECK IN!

  2. "It shouldn't be JUST about the stickers." - What else do they have to offer us at this time? Because I'm not seeing a heck of a lot there to keep things rolling other than the Skinner Box-like environment they've created. Why check-in to a show if there's no reward and no decent way to discuss it with other fans that may be using the site?

    "GG is about the community..." - what community? They haven't given us anything to build a community around other than mindlessly clicking a button. There's nowhere to discuss the shows other than in the comments you put in your check-in. The "reply" system they have is a joke, because as the check-ins get pushed down the listing there's no good way to go back to a conversation you may have had a couple hours ago, much less a week or a month ago. If they wanted to build community they would have given us forums to discuss the topics, not the little twitter-like snippets we can post now.

    "... and about the checking in" - you've hit the nail on the head there, and pretty much made my point for me. Who decides what a true fan of the show is? Is it someone who mindlessly clicks a button once a week? Or is it someone who actually watches the show?

    You see, that was the main crux of my post. And it's an issue I've had with the site since the beginning. Why should one fan be rewarded over another just because they were around longer? Why should one fan be rewarded over another because they clicked a button more times than the other? Instead of fostering community and breeding a sense of camaraderie, it's inciting divisiveness and discord, bordering on elitism. If they want to build community they should be giving us stuff that everyone can earn and giving us a place to talk about it. But they're not - they're too focused on exclusive deals with this studio or that TV show to look into the problems that are already plaguing the site.

    You say "stop whining". I say "look at it for what it really is and what it could be".

  3. Despite the well formulated response, I still disagree with your stance, but that's okay. It's the same with many facets in life. I've had jobs where "Employee of the[fill in the blank]" are rewarded, but one can only get it if your manager is on the ball. If he/she isn't then you are screwed, but you don't work less because you are being paid. These stickers are free to us, so I really don't have a problem with their method. Ah well... To each their own. And kudos for not taking offense at my non-intended inflammatory comment. I felt it was rather argumentative after I posted, so my apologies. :)