Cliqset Clips and Evernote Notes

Social memory integration sounds pretty impressive. But what does it mean? Leena Rao at TechCrunch uses the term to describe the recently-announced integration between Cliqset and Evernote.

Leena’s post made me get round to starting a Cliqset account and linking it to some of my web activity (e.g., this blog, Evernote, Flickr). Cliqset shows me the activity streams of those I follow.

The integration with Evernote allows me easily to make a note of an interesting item from one of those streams. I get a clipping of that item in the form of a note in my default Evernote notebook.

I am rather underwhelmed by this, even with my interest in Evernote, and despite the enthusiastic posts at TechCrunch, at the Evernote blog, and elsewhere.
Some of the reasons I’m unimpressed are minor (if I wanted to Cliq-clip to Evernote, I’d like to be able to specify the folder into which the clippings should go) or otherwise unimportant (I’m feeling grumpy today).

But there is a bigger reason: Twitter, the huge service with the little tweets. Many Cliqset streams consist mainly of tweets. Few tweets are clip-worthy (with very rare exceptions such as CEO resignation haiku). Tweets that make me want to clip are usually pointers to real content, rather than worthy content in their own right.

I see this as a problem, not just for “CliqNote,” but for Cliqset more generally. Many people use Twitter as the center of their social media universe: to capture their own activity streams, and to follow the streams of others. I wish it wasn’t so (for reasons that belong in a separate post), but I think it is – and that doesn’t leave much room for services like Cliqset.

The most prominent Cliqset-like service is FriendFeed. Indeed, Cliqset “aims to be a less clunky version of FriendFeed” (that’s Leena quoting Darren Bounds, president of Cliqset). Perhaps it too will be acquired, then neglected.

OpenID: Who Can You Rely On?

Those of us who use (or at least try) too many web services tend to regard OpenID as good news: it means that each of us can sign in to one service in order to access multiple services. For example, I use ClaimID as my OpenID provider. Once I’ve signed on their, I can use the OpenID it provides me with to sign in to services such as Highrise and…

Now we get to the bad news. Most of the services I use don’t accept OpenID. For example, if you wanted to comment on this post, having an OpenID wouldn’t help you, because WordPress.com doesn’t accept them. It does issue them, though; indeed, I tend to use the OpenID associated with this blog when I leave comments at Blogger, which does accept OpenIDs.

Many have argued against sites providing, but not accepting, OpenID. I did so, rather gently, and with reference to WordPress, about a year ago. Today, Mike Arrington made a similar argument, but rather more vigorously and with reference to web bigcos, today.

The problem… is that the Big Four Internet companies… have made big press announcements about their support for OpenID, but haven’t done enough to actually implement it. Microsoft has done absolutely nothing, even though Bill Gates announced their support over a year ago. Google has limited its support to Blogger, where it is both an Issuing and Relying party. Yahoo and AOL are Issuing parties only.

… Putting my conspiracy theory hat on, it looks to me like these companies want all the positive press that comes from adopting this open standard, but none of the downside. By becoming Issuing parties, AOL and Yahoo hope to see their users logging in all over the Internet with those credentials. But they don’t accept IDs from anywhere else, so anyone that uses their services has to create new credentials with them. It’s all gain, no pain.

Meanwhile, the service that I’d really like to get my OpenID from doesn’t issue OpenIDs – or accept them. It’s FriendFeed: here’s my FriendFeed. An OpenID is actually a URI, and the FriendFeed page is as good an identity page as any.

Hey, I just remembered reading the news that FriendFeed now has an API. Someone should set up a service that issues you an OpenID and gives puts stuff from your FriendFeed on your page.

Lifestreaming With FriendFeed and Traackr

Earlier today at ReadWriteWeb, Josh identified 35 services offering a way to aggregate all the little bits of your online life. Exactly three hours later, at the same site, Sarah identified yet another.

Traackr doesn’t just aggregate the bits, it measures them. You tell it about your “assets,” as it calls the stuff you have at various sites. It then lets you measure your influence and interact with other content producers just like you.

So, although Traackr is lifestreaming service number 36 (or 66, or however many it is how), it has a distinctive position among such services. Its emphasis is on the work currents in your lifestream and on measuring the strength of those currents.

Traackr allows you to group assets into “campaigns.” So my Mug Project Campaign might include a photo on Flickr and a post on this blog. Actually, it’s currently an empty campaign, since Traackr can take up to 24 hours to collect asset data. Also, there’s no way of telling Traackr about content at WordPress.com; I hope that this will change soon.

I’ll link to my Traackr profile, in the hope that by the time you see it, I’ll have a score above zero for view, buzz, and popularity. I’ll also link to my FriendFeed, since, according to Josh, “FriendFeed might hold the crown for most talked about lifestreaming app. It supports nearly 30 web sites.”

To conclude with a rather web-weary comment: it’s strange that, while these lifestreaming services aim to cut across silos/site, each is itself a silo. I signed up for FriendFeed and for Traackr today, and I had to identify my sites to each.