Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The end of an era...

tl;dr version: I'm getting out of the FAQ-maintaining business. Head over to www.getgluestickers.com 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, getgluestickers.com - 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.

37 comments:

  1. Thanks for all the work anyway!

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  2. Sad to see ya go buddy, but if its no longer fun then theres no reason to work for no real pay-off. Thanks for the stickers you helped me get.

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  3. Sad to know it. Thanks for all the work and the stickers you helped me get. And have a good life. o/

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  4. Thanks for everything Frank. Thank you for all of your efforts and good luck in your future endeavors.

    I have to agree with you. Over the last few day (even weeks), this has really gotten out-of-hand. And you're right, we are becoming mindless chickens--for lack of a better word.

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  5. Thanks for all your work Frank!! You helped this one time newbie get to nearly 1000 stickers!!! I'll hit that soon. I totally looked up to you and the other power users. I agree now the stream is so CLOGGED with check ins over crap. Anyway, your work was not in vain and I was even able to help new users thanks to your shared expertise. Hope you stick around on GG and say hi once in a while on my own page...Jeff Smith.

    -jeffsmth87

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  6. Oh I am so sad to see you go! Thank you for ALL of your hard work. You have rocked with this!

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  7. You've done a fantastic job with this site and I'm sorry to see you go but completely understand. I would do the same and honestly getting to that point. I appreciate everything you've done here and all your hard work. Good luck on your next new challenge/venture, I'm sure it'll be something spectacular from what I've seen on this site :)

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  8. I'm so sorry but I neglected to say "Thank You" as well to my previous post :)

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  9. Thank you for all your hard work Frank, I'm very sad to see it come to this, but I can totally understand your reasons. Be happy and I'll see you around the forums :o)
    Jo (Swissmiss1979)
    xxx

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  10. So sad to see this FAQ will no longer be active but I understand how you feel. I’d feel the same way too! Your hard work is much appreciated and it must have been difficult to keep up with it all. I totally agree with you on how the web site has gotten so out of hand and yes I am guilty of it too! Liking & checking into stuff I really do not like and checking in endlessly into topics just to get a sticker. And I really dislike that there is little interaction between users too. All anyone wants is the stickers or gurus without the friendships. Same thing kind of happened on ICHC, they stared having collectables that you get for visiting the site every day. It’s kind of gotten out of hand and some people ask you to be friends just for the damn extra collectables you got. It's supposed to be about the funny captions on the photos not getting the collectables! But at least the staff there does a lot to make the web site better & they have good interaction with the users. Get Glue not so much! I'm not quite at the point where I want to give up on Get Glue but I know some day in the future, I will get sick of it all and stop coming! Thank you for all of your help in the past in getting stickers! It is much appreciated! Take Care!

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  11. Frank - I have used your site to gain a lot of stickers that I would not have otherwise been able to get, so far that I truly thank you and I appreciate you for it...I can tell this site took a lot (understatement, I am sure) of effort on your part to maintain...I am sorry that it is no longer as much fun for you...thank you again for doing this FAQ for as long as you did!

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  12. Thanks for all your hard work your site was the first one I checked out to see what stickers were available and how to get them. You will be missed!

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  13. thanks for your hard work! i 've been using your site for a long time:) I can totally understand your sentiment. I too am feeling that getglue is just not as fun as it was back when the community was much much smaller, and get glue was less corporate. I think the problem has to do with poor navigation, and the repetitiveness of the whole game. Even when i try not to use any help guides like yours, getglue SHOULD notify us when new stickers are available for the week, rather than having us totally miss out of stickers we want. And now that there are over 1000 stickers and they only ship 20 stickers a month ( i knew when the powers that be told me that they would be shipping 20+ stickers when they got the system organized was a fib. So many people give them INCREDIBLE ideas, and it's just ignored... not being heard is the most frustrating part because we did believe in this social community..but it isn't a community if the leader doesn't HELP!! I also absolutely hate the new format, and I'm really not feeling getglue anymore..

    I only now try to get stickers i want to receive; actually made a new account in hopes to receive the stickers I WANT, since they have no check list...><

    I honestly do feel that if getglue doesn't fix the experience, that this fad will die in a few years, maybe less..

    BUT THANKS FOR YOUR HARDWORK!

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  14. I'm sad to see it go as well, but like you've said getglue is no longer a fun place to hangout. I just want to let you know that I really appreciated all the help you've given me and fellow gluers, but I'm glad you will still be around now and then, thanks again for all your hardwork!(^_^)

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  15. How about the contest they held where users made their own stickers. They announced winners but they never used the stickers and we didn't get any sort of reward or "contest winner" sticker.

    I'm still mad about that. I spent a lot of time making my sticker and it won but I didn't get anything.

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  16. Man I am going to miss you. I check this blog everyday!! you were one of the best out there.

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  17. Hi-
    I understand your frustration. I have found that with all the format changes, guru-wars, private guru challenges etc.. I'm not having as much 'fun' either. I just wanted to let you know that I do appreciate all of the help that you've offered. You've been a God-send many a time that I was stumped.
    Thank you again and all the best in your future endeavors.

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  18. Thank you for all you have done! You have been a great help. I understand where you are coming from though. I will go check out the other site and hope to run into you there :-)

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  19. Thanks for all your hard work, Frank. I probably wouldn't be the rabid sticker-hunter-GG-bitch-abouter that I am today without this blog!

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  20. You will be missed. Thanks for your dedicated work. Dealing with GetGlue issues can be frustrating. You have help a lot of us!

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  21. Thanks for all the help along the way. Your assistance will be missed. I do agree with you though, its gotten less fun and more like a chore, and there support people are horrid. i think they think that since its mainly free and we don't pay them anything for our swag that we should be happy with what we get. the truth is they need to admit when things go wrong or they decide to change the rules on us. again thank you for all your help.

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  22. Thanks for everything :) Site will be missed

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  23. Thanks for staying as long as you did. I read your long version why you left and I definetely see where you're coming from. Thanks for the work you have done, it has been helpful for the couple weeks I've been reading!
    You will be missed!
    Thanks!
    Jessie

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  24. I've only been on getglue for about a month and a half and to be honest, more than half of the stickers I got were from this site (the rest were fan/superfan/other stickers). It's sad to see you go since I found your site about 20 minutes after I found getglue and to me they have always gone hand in hand, not sure what I'll do now, but we'll all make it without you, so don't fret. I know how it is when you just get that way about things... We all appreciate everything you have done and wish you luck in whatever it is that takes your interest next....

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  25. Thank you you were of great help to me!

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  26. Thank you for being the first site I visited for GG help Frank and for the BFE in your post. Took all of a second to realize what that acronym stood for. *laughs*

    Anyhow, I learned a lot from you all and really enjoy what you have to say. I will still visit the forum but I will miss the updates as I loved how the blog worked. Took me a while to start using the calendar but when I did, I was forever grateful.

    You are appreciated Frank and all the people who post here to help countless others like me!!

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  27. Man, I miss you. Anytime I'd log on the computer, I'd go to your website first. I feel a little lost without you as my getglue guide. But, I understand why you're quitting. Hope to see you around!

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  28. I'm very sorry to see you go. Whenever a friend signed up for GG, I always sent them here as their first stop at finding things and understanding them.

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  29. Not to fret - there are still resources out there. Head on over to getgluestickers.com - I'll be helping helm the general FAQ over there soon and Steve and the rest of the staff are extremely friendly and helpful.

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  30. Thank you for all your hard work. Even when GG screwed up!!!

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  31. I have to disagree. Steve and the rest of the staff have been anything but friendly and helpful. I'm withdrawing my membership at getgluestickers.com and I would not recommend it to anyone. Going to miss this site like crazy. It was BY FAR the best GG sticker resource out there.

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  32. I'm a fairly new member of getglue (since feb or so) so I never really got that "community" feeling, but on the other hand, I really got into it because I love stickers. I just wanted the stickers. I'm so lame! But I found your site and it really helped me get a lot of the ones I wanted so thank you.

    On a side note, I just got my stickers today and it actually had my name on the envelope instead of Getglue Fan!

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  33. I wanted to post as to why I stopped using Get Glue and the forums here so abruptly. I created an infographic that goes through the badge adoption curve. Eventually I reached the end: http://damienbasile.posterous.com/infographic-badge-adoption-curve-social-study

    Maybe you can relate. Maybe you can't. I hope it at least brings some clarity to some people.

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  34. They have sent 0 out of 3 sticker shipments to me since February, and I can't even get a response out of their "support" so I am thinking I'll probably be quitting myself, so I completely understand where you were coming from.

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  35. I live in the Netherlands and have to press http://drukwerkdrukker.nl/product/14/Stickers/ stickers or whatever you say in Dutch stickers drukken

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