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An Unfortunate Victim of Timing

Bobby Travis

Bobby Travis

This is a post by Bobby Travis, who wrote with me at 40Tech from 2009 through 2012. Bobby has since moved on to bigger and better things, but I've left all of his great contributions up on the site. - Evan
Bobby Travis

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In everything, balance. That’s the truth of the universe, I think. Heady stuff for a tech blog, but it has seen a proving in the circles we run in just the past few weeks. Yesterday, I posted about the rapid improvement and positive forward traction of Springpad. Unfortunately, at approximately the same time, another service that I have become particularly fond of, especially for its potential to improve the web experience as a whole, has had to close its doors. Unless something drastic happens in the next bit, it is very likely that Cliqset has closed its doors for good.

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Cliqset is – or was – a social aggregator that attempted to take the social web to another level. They were one of the first to embrace technologies like Pubsubhubbub for real-time updating, and they also were one of the forerunners to adopt the Salmon protocol, which allows for cross-network comment conversations. Cliqset showed a lot of promise, but with the juggernaut that is Facebook and the beast that is Twitter commanding people’s attention, not to mention the harshness of the world economy, the founders, Darren Bounds and Charlie Cauthen, just weren’t able to pull together another round of funding. They announced that they were leaving the company in late November, which I heard about through the “grapevine” – but there was still some hope that Cliqset might remain open. I caught up with Darren on Twitter (I’m aware of the irony) and he informed me they had closed the doors just the day before, on December 7, 2010.

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In a post on Louis Gray’s blog, Darren is quoted as follows:

“A federated social Web agenda at Cliqset is something we chose to promote,” he said. “The open standards aspect is something I believe is still the future. The roadmap to getting there is going to be a little longer than we would have liked. But where these standards can be implemented and improve efficiencies, they deliver real value.”

Hopefully, someone will be able to further what Cliqset was trying to accomplish, an open social web that can see people conversing with one another in real time, regardless of their networks of choice, where content and people are the focus, not a closed network infrastructure. Maybe it’s a bit pie in the sky what with Facebook, Google, and others each trying to be the web’s evil overlord, but it’s a hope, nonetheless.

Discuss.