LJND: What, exactly, is GetGlue supposed to do? (yes, the corporate speak, but let’s have it in English too?)
AG: Plain and simple, we’re there to help users figure out what to read, watch, listen to, or play next. There’s a bunch of different ways that we do that, from personalized new release recommendations to allowing you to read reviews from your friends around the web.
LJND: How do you attract people to actually do the work to rate/recommend things?
AG: A number of ways, including good old publicity and browser recommendations, but I have to say the most effective is word-of-mouth (so everyone reading this please go tell five people about us right now).
LJND: What other social networking platforms are interoperable with GetGlue?
AG: Twitter and Facebook, of course – we’ve enabled users to share their comments and rewards from GetGlue with these platforms pretty easily. With our browser add-on installed, you’re able to reach a really wide range of social networks, including things like Goodreads and Shelfari. Our add-on technology means that when you’re looking at a book on one of these sites, GetGlue knows what book you’re looking at, and it allows you to rate and comment via a toolbar at the bottom of the screen. These ratings and comments are then automatically fed to your profile on GetGlue.com, which means that you’re building a profile of your tastes automatically, just from your normal web browsing.
LJND: How do you serve other websites, such as McGraw-Hill Professional and Alibris?
AG: Same as above – with our add-on installed, you’re able to interact with books on these sites.
LJND: What’s your role in the organization?
AG: Lots of things! Technically, my title is director of business development, but on a day-to-day basis I work on a range of things, from company PR to liaising with book publishers to writing blog posts.
LJND: What’s exhilarating about your work?
AG: I really geek out on working with books in this way. The fact that GetGlue is cross-vertical – meaning we work with books AND movies AND music, etc. – means that I have a chance to think about where books fit into the larger media landscape. Books are drivers of culture. They actually power lots of other media, and sometimes when you’re in the publishing trenches, it can be easy to forget about that. One of my favorite things so far has been working on our book giveaways program. I’m able to give books to our influential users in all verticals, which means a comment we hear a lot is, ‘I’d never heard of this book before, but I loved it.’ That’s a good feeling.
LJND: Can you explain the Facebook API in English? Why is it a good thing?
AG: In short: using our API, you can take a URL of any page that GetGlue understands and get meta data using Facebook Open Graph Protocol without doing any coding. (emphasis on the last four words)
LJND: What about those widgets? Why does everybody have a widget? Why is yours awesome?
AG: First of all, it’s free, which can be the only word some folks need to hear to equal ‘awesome.’ We’ve also just made them easy to generate on your own instantly, just by entering ISBNs, at MyBookWidget.com. I know it sounds like crazy marketing speak, but for Blogger and Typepad platforms, they really do install with one click. My favorite thing about them, though, is that they make the necessity of linking to multiple retailers much easier and a lot prettier looking – instead of a list of hyperlinks, everything is elegantly embedded within the widget.
LJND: Why do you start off with movies? When I log in for the first time, I have to “like” a bunch of movies. I want to “like” books first thing.
AG: As an affirmed book lover, I hear you! You can always choose to exit out of the movies screen if rating those things is not working for you.
LJND: What’s next? What are you working on (that you can talk about)?
AG: Right now, we’re all hands on deck creating our iPhone app. It’s going to be a way to share with your friends what you’re reading, watching, and listening to, while you’re out and about. I’m really, really, really excited about it.