Two years ago, the phrase “check-in” was reserved for people traveling on airplanes and staying in hotels. Now check-in can include a wide variety of activities. Your current location (Foursquare) , the television show you are watching from home (miso/Getglue) or the next stop on your SCVNGR hunt. Now Meebo has brought us our next check-in frenzy, checking in to anywhere on the web. In simple terms, once you download the Meebo mini-bar that will be placed at the bottom of your browser, you can then check-in from any website across the Internet. You do have to sign-up for Meebo, but it is a simple and non-intrusive process. Next, download the browser extension and then you are off and running.
Users can follow other people who are on Meebo and begin to share websites you visit. Similar to the “mayor” goals that Foursquare has, you can become a VIP of websites that you visit. More than one person can become a VIP of any specific site. Eventually, the team at Meebo says the goal is for individual sites to reward their most loyal visitors who achieve VIP status, but that is strictly based on the website’s personal decision. If there is a specific article on a specific site you would like to share, you have the choice of sharing the website, the article or both. All of the information will show up on your feed and in the feed of anyone who follows you. Whenever you visit different sites, your activity will only be shared if you choose to click the check-in button.
The true value of this new creation by Meebo is the ability to see which sites your friends and people you follow check-in to on a regular basis. Compared to following people on Google Reader, Facebook and Twitter, this gives you a more in-depth look at sites regularly visited. Discovery is the name of the game and Meebo has taken an interesting step in this space – social discovery based on interest.
Meebo is not interested in “game mechanics”, but rather exposing users to new websites among people who have common interests in similar websites . Imagine if you just began to develop an interest in cooking. Visit a major site and check-in via meebo. Next, look at who is a “VIP” on the cooking site and then check to see what other sites they visit or are VIPs. From there the discovery portal is open and within minutes you can discover three or four relevant websites related to your new interest. Pretty cool. Check out this video of the CEO of Meebo, Seth Sternberg, explaining the new service.
Publisher tools will be out in mid to late December which will include to the API for this mini-bar. Firefox, Chrome and Internet Explorer are the lucky browsers with first access to the service. More will be added in the upcoming weeks. Mobile access and implementation should come to fruition later on down the line. I am a big fan of Meebo (almost five years of use for myself) and suggest you try it out. What initially may seem like another company playing the check-in game actually is very different and more in tune with expanding your knowledge base. Try it out, follow me on Meebo and let us know your thoughts in the comments section.Category: web 2.0 | Tags: foursquare, meebo, Meebo Mini Bar, miso, Scvngr