The social network of things

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Marwann@marwannas · CMO @ Hellojam
Oh, it reminds me Stickybits (before they pivoted to become, but I think their app wasn't well-timed. I was a fan ! I hope Gum becomes successful.
Ryan Hoover@rrhoover · Founder, Product Hunt
@marwannas oh yeah! I forgot about that! I'm not sure if this has been written about already but I'm curious to hear why Stickybits didn't work, @billychasen, @seth, and/or @schlaf.
Oleg Sharov@shapob · Founder @pinwheelapp
@marwannas First thing that came to my mind was Stickybits. I just couldn't remember the name and literally started going through my desk drawers to find those stickers!
Oliver Johnston@o_iver · UI Designer
@marwannas RIP Stickybits. Loved that app.
Billy Chasen@billychasen · Inventor of things
@marwannas This was basically what we were doing with stickybits. The hard part about it was there wasn't much content that really made people want to scan a product barcode. We started with sticker packs of barcodes so you could attach a digital message to things like a birthday card. That was the highest quality experience, but still not frequent enough to keep it going. Brands loved the idea of attaching content to their barcodes, so we began working with them on promotions and contests to add interesting things to their products. But while brands loved this, people were really just interested in getting the prize. I still think it's a very powerful idea and love seeing it again. Best of luck!
Billy Chasen@billychasen · Inventor of things
@marwannas @o_iver Thanks!
Jason Crawford@jasoncrawford · Co-founder & CEO, Fieldbook
@marwannas @billychasen @seth @schlaf @rrhoover Can't speak for StickyBits, but I was co-founder/CTO of a related product around that time, Barcode Hero (2010–2012). One problem we ran into was that a lot of the stuff people want to talk about doesn't have a UPC barcode, or doesn't have one anymore. Clothing, e.g., often has a retailer-specific code. Electronics? You probably threw the box out years ago. Media (books, music, DVD) is great, but all that is going digital now. That leaves the stuff in your pantry and medicine cabinet, which is not all that exciting. (Hot sauce… you could probably build a community around hot sauce.) One thing we didn't do well was to find a narrow community with in the broad space of products and build it. In retrospect, our community-building was frankly sucky to non-existent. Maybe the Gum folks can do a better job with this. Wine or spirits could be a good example here… as I recall we had a number of whisky fans.
@lloydielloyd · CoFounder @justgumit CD @weareicoex
@marwannas @billychasen Thanks for all the input. (and creating a product that pushed and tested boundaries) Oddly enough, our starting point wasn't really barcodes, as @Realm mentioned, we'd been looking at iBeacons and AR in mobile devices as well as Google glass and wondered about the digital space around products that's coming down the line. It seemed to us that there will be opportunities in the future for brands and corporations to push messages to consumers, so what would it mean if consumers could intervene in this as yet unrealised space? When devices can augment our vision with additional information, who gets to choose what we see? the owner of the device? the owner of the object? the manufacturer? We wondered if there was a way we could test out these thoughts using existing technology and that led to GUM. Some of the this is expounded on in a talk we did here We are really open to how Gum gets used and have loved seeing all the feedback from you guys. All comments gratefully received and keep your eyes peeled for new release coming soon. Cheers
Thom Huxtable
@thomhuxtable · Interaction Designer @ IDEO NYC
The app allows you to scan a barcode of a product and tag it with a message. You can also see what other people have tagged.
Jeremy Zykorie@jeremyz123
I wouldn't use this much personally, but think it's a clever idea and like the retro feel of the landing page.
Ryan Hoover@rrhoover · Founder, Product Hunt
We've seen several apps for location-based messages but tying social interactions to social interactions to things is unique. I'm not sure how I would use this but I like weird apps. 😉
Marwann@marwannas · CMO @ Hellojam
@rrhoover A few ideas on-the-spot : tie bonus content to your products without the need for a QR code (such as sexy pics on your Axe/Lynx deodorant), allow people to share their feelings and rate a specific product (like "Don't buy this" attached to the barcode), declare your love to this cute girl in the library, on the book she wants to borrow, attach your CV to the gift you're going to send to potential employers, etc.
Adam Marx@adammarx13 · Freelance writer/editor and music addict
@rrhoover This almost reminds me of the Drop for iPhone app: Though I agree, the interactions tied to particular objects is an interesting new twist.
Chris Franco@chrisfranco · Founder & CEO, Woodridge Growth
@rrhoover Yeah, the novelty of it alone got me to download. I'm looking forward to playing around with it. Great website, too. Love how it feels.
@lloydielloyd · CoFounder @justgumit CD @weareicoex
@rrhoover I think maybe @billychasen has the right idea, focusing on a small group of enthusiasts, Whisky drinkers or wine aficionados maybe, trying to get a few of them to use it, see what features might stick. We'll be updating in a few weeks so will keep you posted, and thanks again for all the feedback. Cheers Steve
Ryan Charles@ryenyc · Product @Tumblr. Founder @PurchXapp.
@rrhoover For background I founded community app Consumr, a barcode scanner, so I'm thrilled to see people like @billychasen and @jasoncrawford chiming in given their contributions to the space. Tying social interactions to things is unique, but unique also can mean a novelty that wears off. Getting repeat usage with barcode scanning is hard. I think the social fun of posting any content to a barcode is great but still felt like it wasn't truly helping users. Stickybits and BarcodeHero built some really neat social stuff in this space that clearly inspired Gum. The key is to create real utility. When someone scans a barcode they want price comparison, reviews, and ways to buy the product. The social component comes in the form of the feedback you provide. It helps establish a sensible give and take to the user whereby they scan in store to find out how something is rated and they scan at home to share their feedback. It wasn't easy to get that going although now we're into the millions of ratings from mobile users. I would love to see the resurrection of the barcode hidden social note. Good luck!
Joe Anderson@anderson760 · Designer
I wonder if something like estimote stickers would work better for UX. Literally just walking past something and getting a push notification could be much more lightweight, although potentially expensive.