Web Spy: Philo

[There are over 100 million sites on the Internet. 100 million! You might think you know about all the important ones (CollegeCandy, Gmail, Google, Facebook…), but there are thousands of other sweet sites out there (like Evernote, Grooveshark, and Ebates) and more showing up every day! We get it – it’s not easy or fun sifting through the crap and porn to find those gems, so we’re gonna bring the gems to you. Just sit back, kick up those feet and allow us to introduce you to the diamonds in the internet rough.]

One of my fondest memories of my freshman year of college was the one night a week when a few friends and I would all cram into the dorm room of another friend who’d had a TiVo, and watch the week’s shows.  It was so fun to watch the shows together, talk about what’s going on, make predictions for the next episode, and share gossip.  Unfortunately, after freshman year we all had different work and school schedules or moved off campus, making it difficult to find a night that worked for everyone–so eventually those nights came to an end.

If only Philo had existed back then! 

Philo allows you and your friends to watch and discuss your favorite shows together–even when you’re not actually together.

Philo is part social network, part online game.  It’s sort of like Foursquare, a web/mobile application that allows users to “check in” to different locations and share and discuss it with their friends, except Philo is based around the concept of social TV-watching: so instead of “checking in” to places, you “tune in” to TV shows.

To use Philo, you simply log onto the site and browse for a show to find the one you’re watching.  Once you find it, “tune in” to share what you’re watching with your friends (via Facebook or Twitter), and join in on the show’s discussion!  You also get points every time you tune in to a show, which help you earn badges and awards on the site. (I know, it sounds lame, but I swear it’s kind of fun. I mean, who doesn’t miss the days of gold stars and smiley face stickers?)

Another great feature of Philo is that it gives you an opportunity to discover new shows you might not have heard of before.  You can explore your friend’s profiles to see what they’ve been watching, and the site’s homepage features a feed that shows what Philo users are currently watching, as well as a list of the current most popular shows.  Furthermore, if you provide your zip code and cable provider, Philo has an interactive channel guide to show you what’s on and lets you see what people are watching locally.

By bringing a social networking aspect to what would otherwise be a solo activity, Philo is re-inventing the way we watch TV.  And making it a lot more fun!

Editor’s Note: Join the College Candy editors (and get a super special CollegeCandy badge) for our Gossip Girl viewing party on Monday, November 8th at 9 p.m. All you need to do is create an account, click on the CollegeCandy/Gossip Girl viewing party button on the homepage, then watch the show and chat with us! We’re even giving away Gossip Girl DVDs, but we’ll give you more info on that on Monday!

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