Social Bookmarking Meets Big Brother: Cluztr

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cluztr.jpgOttawa based Cluztr is social bookmarking meets Big Brother. It’s the Del.icio.us Homer Simpson would use.

A few years ago clickstreams and attention data was all the rage. In 2005 Michael Arrington covered Attention Trust and a Firefox plugin that tracked every site you visited, the data being stored for private use or opt-in sharing. But not a lot has happened since. The hype never caught up with reality.

Fast forward two years. Ubiquitous broadband and the age of voyeuristic self expression have arrived. The clunky web cams of Web 1.0 have given way to uStream and Justin.tv.

Cluztr tracks your clickstream and shares it with the world. Every site you visit is recorded and posted live to the Cluztr site in a social bookmarking style format, but without the need for active involvement; a Firefox plugin does it automatically.

The wealth of data has benefits outside of letting people watch. Content matching links users with similar clickstreams and creates site recommendations based on user history.

Cluztr is also a chat platform. Cluztr users visiting a particular page are automatically displayed in the sidebar allowing discussions on the topic at hand.

A privacy option is available. Clickstreams can be set to private or public. Cluztr also adheres to the principles and guidelines outlined by AttentionTrust.org. Users maintain full control over data collected.

The service shouldn’t appeal to me. I should be horrified by a service that tracks and publicly exposes every site you visit, and yet for some reason this one stands out. Perhaps like much of society as a whole I’ve become engulfed by a wave of voyeurism, and Cluztr wets my appetite.
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