I've written about social recommendation network Glue before, noting that it is a social network that is just along for the ride as a Firefox/IE extension that slides out when you need it. The basic idea is that when you visit a site that's supported by Glue (IMDB, Amazon, Wikipedia, Last.fm, and a lot more), the Glue extension will slide out and tell you what your friends thought about that particular piece of content and give you the option to review it yourself. It's a great concept where the information comes to you instead of you having to seek it out. Today, Glue is adding a more traditional profile-based system to the site, which provides more incentives for users to contribute regularly.
Adding a "game dynamic" to your service is a proven technique that boosts user engagement. Glue is hoping to do just that with its new profile system on GetGlue.com. It is taking a page out of Foursquare's book and adding "Stickers" for user accomplishments and declaring "Guru" status for those who comment most frequently on a particular piece of content.
The similarities to Foursquare's Badges and Mayor features are pretty apparent here. Glue's Founder and CEO Alex Iskold commented, "We've been admiring what Foursquare did to encourage people to engage with their service." On the subject of the Guru feature, Iskold told us that, "Guru is something that we developed to encourage people to really engage around things they love. Unlike Mayor, being a Guru is a bunch more work, since you need to actively comment on things to stay the Guru."
Glue is also adding suggestions, presented in the form of a stream. As you give the thumbs up to pieces of content throughout the Web, these suggestions will evolve and become more targeted. Their algorithm also takes into consideration what your friends' favorites are as well as the overall favorites for the community. Hopefully your own ratings have some more weight than popular content, or else Metallica fans might be staring down streams filled with Miley Cyrus.
Even though I like the hands-off nature of Glue's browser extension, I think that their profile system is a strong addition to the service. The new game dynamic will certainly drive more user interaction as people compete for Guru status and collect Stickers for their profile. Glue also threw a couple of new statistics our way to give us an idea of their growth. Currently, the service is getting a new rating every three seconds and a total of 1.2 million new interactions between people and things every month.
Here's a nice video that the guys at Glue put together for this release to explain the service: