GlueGlue is a new service by Squad that lets users publish and share content on the web using a mobile device or web browser. It allows you to upload photos, publish news and share your Glue on any website, blog, or community profile (ie: MySpace). You can look at it as a miniature news publishing tool. The way it works is simple: Create an account, add news, and do what you want with the content. Now, rather than Glue providing you with a website showing your content, it offers publishing options which you can use to get the content on your own website or profile. Available publishing options include: Flash, JavaScript, RSS, PHP, ASP, and XML. The Flash and JavaScript options are ideal for users that do not know how to program requiring you to only place a small snippet into your website. But for those of you who do know how to program, Glue is nice enough to offer complete code in PHP and ASP – great for developers wanting to integrate the content in applications. More on this in a bit. First, let’s take a look at what Glue has to offer.

Glue Overview

Using a web browser or mobile device, head to your Glue address (you.gluenow.com) and login. The first thing you will notice is the minimal interface containing a drop down menu at the top and content right below. It is formatted in this manner so whether you are viewing Glue in a web browser or on a mobile phone, it will work just the same (note: I have tested with Windows Mobile 5.0). Once successfully logged in, you will find yourself in the overview section displaying your most recent news items and images.

Glue News

Let’s get straight to adding content. Glue provides you with two options. You can use the Glue website or simply send a email to one of your Glue email addresses found in the settings. The website requires you to enter a headline and body for your news item and allows you to optionally insert an image, set the date, and choose an author. The email solution offers the same functionality where the "From:" header sets the author (connects email address to author), "Subject:" sets the news headline, and the "Body:" is the news content. You can also include images in your news item when emailing by simply placing a GIF, JPG, or PNG image where you want. However, Inserting an image in a news item through the website requires you to first go to the Image Library, upload the image, and then select the image when publishing the news item (Update: Jordan from Glue has pointed out that you can upload photos while writing a post. There is an upload option in the drop down menu where you select an image). Glue also provides you with some basic formatting and allows you to use HTML.

Glue Publish

Once you have published some content to your Glue, it’s time to share it with the world. As described earlier, Glue does not provide you with a website address where you can view your content, though it would be nice if it did. Instead, it provides you with publishing options that let you grab your content from your Glue and use it on any website or community profile. To get started, head to the Publish section and click "Show Feeds." You will then see six publishing options including: RSS, Flash, JavaScript, PHP, ASP, and XML.

The three simplest options are RSS, Flash, and JavaScript because they are just tiny snippets that you can paste right into your site. Selecting "RSS" lets you add a link to your site so viewers can subscribe to your content; "Flash" will give you code to embed news in a scrollable area on your site; and "JavaScript", being more flexible, will load news on your site in HTML and provide CSS for customization. If you are handy with PHP or ASP, Glue lets you download full code for parsing and displaying your Glue content however you wish. This is great if you want more control with the appearance of your content or if you want to integrate your Glue content into an existing application.

Above is an example site that I have created using the JavaScript publishing option. You will notice that it will first load the sites content and then load the Glue content. Also, you will see that I was able to format the content to my liking. Because the JavaScript option dynamically writes the content to the page, I can use CSS to style the outputted HTML. It took around 10-15 minutes to get the site up and looking how I wanted. Not bad at all. You can also see that the post, "Testing Glue on WordPress.com," contains the Flash publishing option where a scrollable flash-based container displays my content.You can also see Glue in use on The Four Colour Process website (JavaScript option) and MySpace profile (Flash option). There are also some examples over at the Squad Blog.

In all, Glue offers a nice solution for publishing and sharing content on the web, but it’s no super-glue. For one, publishing to a site using the JavaScript or Flash option does not provide permanent links to posts which is important to me because it allows others to refer to specific posts. Secondly, you cannot set the amount of posts visible per page. Commenting functionality would also be a nice addition. Maybe Squad can add this functionality and more for a paid plan called "Super Glue" ;-). With all that aside, Glue makes for a nice product and I can see it being big with bands and MySpace users.


7 Comments on “Glue – The Web’s Content Adhesive”

  1. tom says:

    It’s manner, not manor.

  2. BillyWarhol says:

    this sounds really cool!

    i hadn’t seen anything too new or exciting in the Web2.0 space in quite awhile*

  3. Jordan Dobson says:

    Wow. Thanks for your feedback on Glue. We are thrilled you put something together like this.

    By the way, you CAN upload an image directly to a news article if you are using a web browser. There is an option in the drop down… Perhaps we need to make this more apparent.

    We have a lot planned for Glue our next few features we are releasing are actually a few of your recommendations. Comments on posts, events, and what we are currently calling “blocks” are soon to come.

    We actually work in the music industry a lot and wanted to build something for ourselves and designers & developers that work on band websites/promo tools, so its funny that mentioned this would be perfect for that.

    Thanks again!
    Jordan & The Glue Team
    http://gluenow.com

  4. Brian Benzinger says:

    @Tom – Woops. Thanks for spotting that. Fixed.

    @Jordan – Sounds great. Excited to see what you’ve got coming. Also, thanks for pointing out that you can select an option to upload while writing. I’ll update the post.

  5. Gabe says:

    “With all that aside, Glue makes for a nice product and I can see it being big with bands and MySpace users.”

    this also has potential in natural disaster situations where cell phones are the only functioning component of the information grid and there is a need to broadcast on the ground situations and needs

  6. Library clips :: Glue : RSS without the HTML :: December :: 2006 says:

    [...] Solution Watch has posted about Glue, a site where you can publish content, but you don’t get a public webpage to display it, but there are choices to display your output: RSS, javascript, flash, etc… [...]

  7. Hedley Robertson’s Journal » Glue Mentioned in Solution Watch says:

    [...] We got a ton of new signups and interest in Glue over the last couple of days. Seems that there is a rather detailed writeup about it online, on a site called Solution Watch, which mainly reviews ‘Web 2.0’ applications. We are getting some good feedback from the review, and look to be making some enhancements based off input we are receiving. [...]