Viggle: An App That Rewards Your TV Addiction

Viggle is a new app that insures “TV loves you back”.

“Viggle℠ is a loyalty program for television that gives people real rewards for checking into the television shows they’re watching. Available for Android and Apple devices, Viggle automatically identifies the television shows its users are watching and awards them points when they check-in. Viggle users can redeem their points in the app’s rewards catalogue for items such as movie tickets, music, gift cards or they can convert them into charitable donations.”

Viggle takes watching TV to a new level. You get to interact more with the show and receive awards for watching. Log in to the app from Facebook, Twitter, or an email and start logging your TV time. It’s super easy, while you are watching a show, simply hold up your device and click the check-in button. The app will listen to what you are watching and identify it. You get points depending on the time you logged into the show, how long you watched it, and what show it is. Some shows will be worth more due to the large audience. For example I received 366 points for watching The Oscars and another 228 for watching the Red Carpet before hand.

Me capturing an episode of Parks and Recreation on Viggle.

Me capturing an episode of Parks and Recreation on Viggle.

If you are a DIRECTV customer you can get an extra 5,000 points just by signing up for Viggle. 5,000 is a great starting point because the prizes range from gift cards to Starbucks to a Kindle Fire. Take a look at some more of the rewards here.

Watching TV is not the only way to earn points. Viggle is also an app that displays a lot of advertising. It is not the obnoxious kind that also gets in the way, but they are available for you to check out whenever you please. If you click on an ad and watch it, Viggle will give you a small amount of reward points. Every little bit counts.

Now you’re probably wondering why I would be writing about this, it doesn’t seem like a social network. Wrong. The smart creators of Viggle, added a social component to enhance the TV watching experience. When you check-in to a show there is a chat room created where viewers can discuss the show they are watching. You get the possibility of earning more reward points when you interact in the app. If you are like me, then you have your secret shows that you watch when no one is around (for example Dance Moms or Toddlers & Tiaras), but you still want to discuss the show with someone who gets you. That’s where the Viggle chatroom comes in handy. You find people with the same taste in TV shows as you, or people with a totally different insight that you might not have been thinking when watching the show. And maybe when you are chatting in the app you find someone who seems to watch a lot of the same shows or shares the same opinions and you can add them into your Viggle friend group.

This app is perfect for TV addicts like me, get the most from you shows and your time watching them.

Update: You can’t check-in to old shows you have recorded to get points. Tried it. Doesn’t work.

Advertisements

The Library: College’s Most Popular Social Network

It has come to my attention, through frequent observation, that the library is not used for it’s original purpose. I’m seeing more and more people going to the Library to socialize. You meet up with friends, discuss the weekends events, and chat over coffee. Even when people are alone, I still see then socializing, but through their computer. It’s very unlikely to find a person not on a type or social media. What happened to the library being a place for books and studying?
I guess one book is still very popular in the library.

20130228-100138.jpg

Are GIF Apps Going to Happen?

GIFs were a thing of the past, but now they want back in through social networking. 

To begin, I would like to settle a debate that has been bugging me for a while. The prounication of GIF. I have heard it pronounced with a hard g like “gift” and I have also heard it said with a soft g as like “jiffy”. GIF is actually an acroynm for Graphic Image File therefore making it a graphic. So stop making it sound like you’re looking at peanut butter online.

tumblr_mhsgtp2w5u1s5p4ndo1_500

Anyway, I love GIFs. I love finding funny ones from TV shows, movies, music videos, and of cats doing silly things. They are simple mini video clips, usually a second or two long on loop that never ends. The best part is that Apple now allows GIFs to be sent over texting which has greatly enhanced my conversations with friends.

I took a photography class a few years ago and learned how to actually turn my pictures and videos into GIFs by using Photoshop. I sat down with the teacher that taught me how to do that recently.

“Oh I don’t teach that anymore, they’re awful” say Professor Brain Lawler of the Graphic Communications Program at Cal Poly.

yuck

“They have two benefits. One that that are small in file size and two they support animation.” GIF file types were the first of their kind to support transparency and motion, which was it’s immediate appeal. But with the invention of PNG files that support transparency and new types of video files, GIFs were pointless. According to Professor Lawler, GIFs peaked in the 90s and but he is curious to see how their return is going.

The GIF comeback would not have happened if wasn’t for social networks like Reddit and Tumblr. These sites are based on a platform that focuses on images. You can sit there for hours just scrolling without stopping. It’s really simple to get lost in these sites. GIF uses spand anywhere from reactions to other photos to images that bring us together. A perfect example of GIF success on the internet is the Tumblr How Do I Put This Gently. The titles of their posts are common situations and the reaction is a GIF that could be from just about anything. It’s hard to NOT relate to their posts.

h8

With the success and the fun had on these sites with GIFs and the winner of Time’s Oxford Dictionary Word of the Year in 2012,  app creators saw it as an opportunity to market GIF in a new way.

Most people with cellphones can capture video, so why not make your videos into GIFs and share them in new mobile social networks. Top GIF apps include Gifboom, Cinemagram, and Gifture. I do have a Cinemagram account. I am not very popular, don’t have a lot of friends, and the only likes are from my 3 friends on it. But I am trying. I have only turned a few of my concert videos into GIFs.

Sexyback GIF taken by Me at the Hollywood Palladium at the Grammy After Party Concert

Sexyback GIF taken by Me at the Hollywood Palladium at the Grammy After Party Concert

Everbody Talks GIF taken by me at the Jimmy Kimmel Show

Everbody Talks GIF taken by me at the Jimmy Kimmel Show

Born This Way GIF taken by me at the Staples Center for the Born This Way Ball

Born This Way GIF taken by me at the Staples Center for the Born This Way Ball

I was attracted to its similarities to Instagram and the nifty effects you can do to your work. There are times in my daily life when I think “Wow I wish I had a GIF of that facial gesture that I could keep in my pocket forever.” With these new GIF creating programs, that can be a possibility. But from my personal experience and from the information gathered from friends, it’s having a rough start.

“I do think it will eventually catch on. Not many people know about the app, but once the word spreads then people will notice it is basically Instagram taken to a new level,” says Kayla Koczian, a member of Cinemagram. “I like that it has filters. Filters make the world go round.” JJ Jenkins says he joined Cinemagram because he “wanted an app that makes making GIFs easy and  likes the promoted posts for the most part.” “I found a really funny one of a dog that’s amazing.”
puppy
I think the hardest part about GIF social networking is that we always forget to capture something on video. Taking a picture is so much faster, easier, and doesn’t require a lot of thought. Video takes up much more space on your phone and it obviously takes more time to capture. We are not in the mindset yet to remember to capture our daily lives through video. We are still stuck in a highly photographical way of displaying our lives on social networking.
time for dat

So will GIF social networking become as big as Facebook or Instagram? Right now as much as I wish it would, no. I think GIFs know their place on the internet and let’s face it, none of our homemade videos will be as good as the ones created on the web. They are hilarious tools used to reminisce about clips on a loop. I don’t think a social network will catch on because if the video is funny it will be sent to YouTube, the clip will be shortened, and then the GIF will end up somewhere on Tumblr. That’s how it works today and I think that’s the way it’s going to stay for a while.

no

So there’s my thoughts on the GIF Social Networking If you want to join the people that are trying to make GIF apps happen and see some of my own person GIFs follow me on Cinemagram @lindseyonline . Have a lovely day.

kiss

Mobile Upload vs Instagram

Today’s biggest social networking dilemma  “Do I mobile upload this picture to Facebook or do I Instagram it?”

Although sometimes these sites feel virtually the same, there is still a difference in where and why you post your photos. Scan through the slideshow below and discover why I uploaded the photo, what site I uploaded to, and some tips for your future photos.

Just remember these 3 easy tips when posting pictures:

  1. If the picture is nature, a sunset, animals, or food – Instagram
  2. If the picture is of you and your friends – Facebook
  3. If the picture is a selfie (a picture taken by yourself of yourself) – Pick the site you haven’t posted on in a while, both sites accept an occasional selfie

A Secret Social Network

Apple’s PhotoStream feature makes photo sharing much easier and more personal.

Have you ever had one of those nights where you and your friends get together and take hundreds of pictures all on your phones? You all want to see each others pictures, but you don’t want to deal with the hassel of posting them on Facebook and tagging each other or plugging in your phones to upload to Photobucket. iPhone users can now use their phones as a social network to share pictures privately with friends.

To get started make sure you have PhotoStream turned on where you can find in Settings -> Photos & Camera.

Once you have it turned on, start snapping pictures!

When you share your photos on PhotoStream with your friends you are able to comment and like each individual photo. It brings in the Facebook vibe but also the security aspect because only your friends you shared the stream with can see them. You have the ability to save certain pictures so you can edit it to your liking. By using PhotoStream you can avoid posting your pictures online and risk someone taking them or using them without your permission. If you sync your PhotoStream to your Mac, the pictures shared will be available right in iPhoto.

PhotoStream is also beneficial because you can send large amounts of photos to someone at one time and they will get their quicker than texting each photo individually. It’s a time saver, keeps you private, and it’s a more fun way to interact with your friends.

My only hope is for Apple to update us with the ability to post our own photos in a PhotoStream created by someone else, but until then share away.