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Earlier this year and during the SXSW conference, I interviewed Cliqset founder Darren Bounds. It was one of the discussions I enjoyed at SXSW. Cliqset was a social aggregator similar to Facebook-acquired Friendfeed. Darren described Cliqset as a real-time conversation and aggregation service.
Last month Louis Gray reported that the founders of Cliqset, including Darren, would leave the company. Louis also noted that the service would remain active, “as the company’s investors have opted to keep it up and running, despite a lack of engineering and operational support.”
Today I learned via our HTMLCenter.com writer Curtiss Grymala that Cliqset has apparently closed. The message on the site reads, “Sorry We’re Closed” with a sad smiley.
I am hoping Darren puts together a post that discusses the ups and downs with regards to Cliqset so we can all learn about what worked and didn’t work for the social service. The company is based in Florida and I’ve always believed that services that rely on social media to succeed need to be in Silicon Valley/San Francisco. It’s also important to remember that Friendfeed never launched a business plan – unless their plan was to get acquired by Facebook.
At the Mashable party during the SXSW conference, I caught up with Cliqset founder Darren Bounds to learn more about where the social service is today and where it is headed. Louis Gray also spoke with Darren and recorded an audio interview that’s worth listening to. Lastly, check out the Cliqset SXSW mashup which pulls in content from Cliqset users from the following services: Brightkite, Flickr, Foursquare, Gowalla, Qik and Twitter.
Darren described Cliqset as a real-time conversation and aggregation service. Currently they aggregate content from a variety of services from their users. Comparisons to Friendfeed are included in every Cliqset review although now that Friendfeed development has stopped, Cliqset could take over the tracks and move forward. Darren noted that their goal is to be more user-friendly than Friendfeed was.
Darren noted that the Florida-based Cliqset team is working hard to organize the social web. He also mentioned that they are looking to move to the valley soon. I think this is a smart move – when you are attaching yourself mainly to Twitter and/or Facebook, being closer to these companies is a smart move.
The company recently partnered with Evernote and the Cliqset application is available in a browser, as an Air app and also on the Boxee Box.
In terms of the Cliqset roadmap, Darren noted that they are working on a tighter integration with Twitter. The integration will become visible over the next few months. For the balance of 2010, they are focused on content people are interested in. I assume this means we will see more mashups like the SXSW mashup noted above along with pulling in additional content outside of content provided by Cliqset users.
Darren shared that they have 50,000 users and 85% of those users have created accounts since November 2009. Their overall goal is to create a place that works for both the bigtime sharers like Louis Gray and Robert Scoble while still providing a place that is comfortable for the average Facebook user.
(also note Darren’s awesome Voltron shirt – just like Voltron brought together the cats, Cliqset brings social services together. Darren wouldn’t comment regarding if there is a way to form blazing sword)