If you like Electronic Music, you might like Musique Concrète. If you like Cartography, you might like Map Projection. Into Head-mounted displays? Check out Organic light-emitting diodes! These are a few of the recommendations I've received this week from semantic, social recommendation service Get Glue and I'm pretty excited about it.
This long-running browser extension, prominently featured in both Firefox and Chrome official extension galleries, recently created a companion website that made use of the service skyrocket. Today Glue announced a new version of its extension that inserts links to see recommendations for related content on pages all around the web, from Google search pages to Facebook. Anywhere you find a link to a known website, that link will be augmented with a Glue link. There is one privacy setting you should change from the default, but do that and you'll be ready to roll.
Get Glue recognizes when you're looking at a website about a musician, a book, a bottle of wine, a movie or many other types of stuff. Then it makes it easy to look up additional info about that item across other websites like Last.fm, YouTube, Wikipedia, etc. It does all of this unobtrusively, with social streams, recommendations and a game.
The newest version of the service recognizes links on search results and social networks, allowing you to invoke a handsome pop-up overlay on those pages as well. Check out the little grey "G" below. Hover over it and you'll get a pop-up filled with options for learning more quickly and easily, without leaving the page.
Glue tracks the pages you're visiting, which is ok, but by default it exposes topics you look at on your public profile. You can turn that off and only expose the topics you interact with on Glue, like giving them a thumbs up or thumbs down. Yesterday I found an entry for a disgusting medical condition on my public Glue profile, because someone else (I swear) used my computer to look the condition up on Wikipedia. I wasn't very happy about that. I now have the setting to expose visits turned off, but the company could explain even that better.
Glue is smart enough that it ought to be able to tell when I'm looking at web content that involves health, sex, money or other touchy topics and ask me if I want to expose those visits. This is just another example of the running debate around passive tracking, over sharing, privacy settings and default social software design.
It's not hard to change this setting and once you do you then you'll probably be pretty happy. It's a shame it's an all-or-nothing thing, though. I'd be happy to expose my browsing history to friends if the types of topics above could be excluded.
Get Glue is pretty awesome and the company adds new features all the time. My profile on the site is here. Come friend me up and we can be nerds together. Especially if you like looking up trippy stuff on the internet.
Disclosure: Glue CEO Alex Iskold is a long-time friend of ReadWriteWeb and one of the nicest, smartest people in the industry. (Read his heart warming personal story here.) His product was also something I disliked using for years until recent updates, so I feel pretty objective about my perception of it. Alex has particularly good taste in books and can be found here on Glue.Discuss