Check-in comes to your couch

Sep 7, 2010
Tech

Check-in comes to your couch In today’s App Industry Roundup, we look at new location-based apps popping up that share television viewing behavior and ask whether Apple stock is still a buy. You can “check in” to a bar, a restaurant and the grocery store. Now, the loyalty fad has even bigger aspirations: your living room. […]

Check-in comes to your couch

In today’s App Industry Roundup, we look at new location-based apps popping up that share television viewing behavior and ask whether Apple stock is still a buy.

You can “check in” to a bar, a restaurant and the grocery store. Now, the loyalty fad has even bigger aspirations: your living room. That’s right, you can check in to your couch to let the world know that you aren’t out schmoozing with your pals. Instead, tell them you’re chomping down creme-filled delights as you watch TV. (Have you tried HoHo Fruit Kabobs yet?)

A new crop of check-in apps allow you to tag content and not your location. “Just like location apps, the list of check-in start-ups for content is already long: Miso, Philo, Starling and GetGlue have snagged deals with media companies as a means to cross-promote, build brands and reward loyal viewers,” notes Advertising Age.

What’s the reward? More TV, apparently. Using GetGlue, Viewers who check in to shows like ‘Glee’ can unlock special commercials for upcoming shows from Fox, for instance. On Philo, Seinfeld fans can win the ‘Art Vandelay’ award, the app’s description notes, or enough credits to become the ‘executive producer’ of your favorite show.

Here’s how low we’ve fallen (or how perhaps how ridiculously addictive we’ve become to our technology): “Checking in is a repetitive behavior that demonstrates continuity,” Alex Iskold, GetGlue founder-CEO, tells Ad Age. “I can like ‘True Blood’ on Facebook, or I can check in to ‘True Blood’ every Sunday night, religiously. It demonstrates I’m a better fan that just someone who Likes.” Or, as my 6-year-old is fond of saying, “What does that even mean?”

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GetGlue also allows you to check-in when you’re reading a book, offering “exclusive stickers” for titles such as The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. Like other services, GetGlue includes recommendation tools, so if you like a book or certain TV shows, the app will recommend other titles you should like as well.

Honestly, I think this is exceptionally silly and a waste of time. If you’re reading a book, read the book. If you’re watching TV, watch the show. But we live in the age of multitasking and too much information, so I suspect my opinion is in the minority here. As proof, here’s a four-star review of GetGlue from Appolicious’ Jesse Sposato.

Is Apple’s stock ripe for picking?

Perhaps Apple Inc.’s most amazing achievement over the past five years is the steady rise of its stock price. It has defied convention during a recession, clearly aided by Apple’s terrific track record of innovation. The company continues to sell the iPhone, iPods and now the iPad at a fast pace, creating the so-called ‘halo effect’ where buyers of one product are so pleased that they will plunk down money for another Apple product.

On top of that, Apple has avoided price wars, so its products generally have a premium price tag. There are a few exceptions, such as Apple TV, where pricing dropped by $200 as Apple tries to establish a foot-hold in an already competitive market for on-demand TV products.

So how long can Apple’s stock run-up last? And if you’re an Apple shareholder, should you anticipate a decline soon, and perhaps sell?

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Those questions were raised Monday in a Rueters’ Breaking Views essay, published in the New York Times. Apple’s stock “has gained more than 40 percent each year for the last five,” notes Rob Cyran. “But no company can grow sales at that pace forever.”

He lists three key warning signs to look for that could lead to a slide in Apple’s share: discounting prices, the high cost of partnering with Apple in the face of Google’s lower tolls, and an acquisition spree. If you fancy Apple because its stock has been a star, take a look at Cyran’s piece.

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Eric Benderoff

Eric Benderoff is the principal of BendableMedia.com, an editorial services firm, and a founding member of the Appolicious content strategy team. His personal technology column for the Chicago Tribune has appeared in newspapers and websites nationwide. He is a regular guest on Chicago's WGN Radio and is a frequent commentator about consumer technology on national TV news programs.

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