AdaptiveBlue is bringing out a new iPhone app â€“ it will sport features that have been added to the web-based GetGlue service, which also is available at some 300 web sites through an add-on. Noteworthy among them is "checking in" your current pursuit into the service, and normalized hash tag output for Twitter, a step to supporting Twitter Annotations.
AdaptiveBlue maintains a semantic database of objects across the web, so it knows that a certain book, for instance, is a specific object wherever it appears on connected web sites, explains vp of business development Fraser Kelton. So, when you check in that you're involved in a book, movie, or bottle of wine, for that matter, you are checking into that as a singular object on the web. "The hash tag output to Twitter -- that makes it easy within the Twitter service to collapse around that object," says AdaptiveBlue CEO Alex Iskold. "The semantic infrastructure angle is that people can be using different Twitter tools to post about movies, etc. but really none of this is structured in any way. But with GetGlue it's not ambiguous at all, because when you check in you check into that book. On hundreds of sites we support that's all connected it's not fragmented as with other tools."
The social network player has previously waded into the iPhone app waters with an app that was mainly focused on presenting users' personal data â€“ books, movies, etc. â€“ to take on the go. But its launch of Getglue.com since then increased the focus both on sharing and rating content you're consuming as well as getting recommendations and suggestions based on your personal tastes, and this new version based on that service aims at a longer shelf life with such abilities. Check-in seems a good choice to extend to a mobile platform â€“ sitting in front of your TV you can whip out your mobile phone to let your friends know what you've just turned on, earn points and stickers as you connect into that content, and push your status about how you're entertaining yourself or what you're thinking about out as a structured entry to your Facebook stream. Also it can tap into your Twitter stream, with those automatically output hash tags.
Iskold says that as soon as Annotations are officially supported, whenever people post from GetGlue apps it will automatically annotate those tweets with appropriate objects. "So we will say it's a tv show and the title is TrueBlood, and whatever other disambiguating information we have we will provide that as well, and that will happen for all categories we support." Iskold thinks, in fact, that Facebook's semantic web efforts remain more of an afterthought, partly because within its markup you can't disambiguate two movies with the same name by two different directors made in different years.
"There is nothing in the OpenGraph protocol about secondary attributes," he says. "It's just a flaw of the protocol." Also, a lot of malformed metadata, he thinks, will be a wrench in the works around the social networker's plans to publish RDFa. "You don't just publish RDFa but you have to publish the right stuff," he says. "So if stuff is plain malformed, if you built something on top of that, it would be wrong."
But back to GetGlue and its incarnations on the web and the mobile arena. AdaptiveBlue also is now partnering with some premium content providers to reward users who get strongly engaged with the service with branded stickers for popular shows, movies, books, and so on. Partners include Showtime, Warner Bros, Random House, Universal Pictures, PBS, Simon & Schuster, Cinematical, Hachette, Harper, Indiebound, O'Reilly, UGO, 1UP and others.
That's an add-on to the stickers you already can get from the service itself, which also gives users the ability to gain guru status and win free items. "For us that's been a natural way to reward and encourage specific activity on our service, it's been a great value that users can enjoy, and it's been a great way for publishers and media companies to reach targeted individuals," Kelton says.
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