January 06, 2010

Cliqset Upgrades Aggregator With Groups, Activity Streams

Despite my comments last week on the mainstream's reticence to adopt aggregation sites on a wide scale, there remains a desire by many in the technology community to build a site that pools all one's activity from around the Web while setting a foundation for discussion. Today, Cliqset, which is chomping on the heels of FriendFeed in the features department, if not the activity department just yet, added several new capabilities that make the site very compelling - including my personal favorite, highly customizable streams by service and individual.

Today's announcements include major revisions and a redesign of the product's user interface, the ability to share files natively to the site, a new (for them) groups functionality that lets people talk on specific topics, and the aforementioned activity stream filters.

I talked with Darren Bounds, Cliqset CEO, yesterday, and he said "the biggest problem with aggregation is handling the firehose and being able to manage it in a good way."

Setting Up an Activity Stream Filter on Cliqset

As many users of aggregation sites can find the overall activity intimindating, the new activity stream filters let you granularly create personalized sections of the site which can display specific types of updates, specific services, or even selected users. For example, I could decide to see all blog posts from all Cliqset users in one stream, or make a dedicated stream just for the busy Twitter streams from Chris Brogan and Robert Scoble.

A Filtered Stream of Blog Updates on Cliqset

The additions of file sharing and groups match those from FriendFeed, who similarly lets you share office files, MP3s and PDFs with the community - an interesting but not often used capability. The addition of Groups similarly matches FriendFeed's Groups functionality, once called Rooms.

Like FriendFeed, Cliqset is also making the rapid discovery of data and real-time streaming of content a priority. Last month I highlighted the service's adoption of PubSubHubbub, and Darren reiterated that focus yesterday.

"Every activity that is generated for groups or users gets pushed to the Google Hub," Darren said. "For subscribers, we look at every feed and API we integrate with and look for PubSubHubbub information and look for those feeds."

Today, Cliqset has a relatively small population of users, but as with many sites like these, the potential for more activity through growth provides serious potential. The company is focused on become a highly functional swiss army knife for Web service updates from around the Web, and now, native on the site. You can find me at http://cliqset.com/user/louisgray