Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Meebo Foursquarifies the Web with Check-ins

Meebo on Tuesday plans to announce an update to its popular Meebo Bar (which is used on this Web site, and many others, to make it easier for users to share content). The goal is to help users discover new Web sites (kind of like StumbleUpon) and become loyal to them by using a check-in system (kind of like a virtual Foursquare).

Starting tomorrow, users who want to participate can download a new browser extension called the Meebo MiniBar. Starting in December, Web sites can add check-ins through embeddable buttons and the Meebo Bar itself (which counts 8,000 publisher users, with a combined 180 million uniques). Brands such as Macy’s, Sprint and L’Oréal Professionnel have already committed to participate.

To check in on Meebo, a user will need to have a Meebo account. The idea is for people to be motivated to share in order to become VIPs on the sites they visit often (another extension of the Foursquare metaphor). Users can also subscribe to feeds of people who like similar Web sites so they can find new places to visit.

This is not a new idea–if you take the pitch and replace the term “checking in” with “social bookmarking” you’ll find a pile of (mostly discarded) companies. More specifically, back when OneRiot was called Me.dium it launched just such an extension in 2006, and the current start-up Badgeville makes a white-label loyalty platform for publishers. And Facebook, of course, has its “like” system of allowing users to subscribe to Web sites and brands.


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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus