Add a Linkstream to Your Lifestream with Cluztr

I first became aware of Cluztr after after Jon (one of its founders) stumbled on to my site and let me know about it. I’m really glad he did because I think they have created a pretty innovative service. My focus in this post is based on its relevancy to Lifestreaming. In this case the functionality provided allows tracking of your web browsing which you can then share in several different ways via a few different RSS feeds. You can then add the RSS feed as a new defined source to your Lifestream.

While being a great source addition for your Lifestream, this is just one element offered by this site. I think its foremost purpose is to offer a great social surfing community in which users who are logged in simultaneously can share their web surfing experience in real-time. The system displays when users have visited a page or site as well as offer shared commenting. This is done by an extension (currently only offered for Firefox & Flock browsers…currently no IE support) which adds a sidebar to the broswer and a console and menu system. After you have opened your browser, you sign in to your account to activate the sidebar and begin tracking your surfing. You can sign in and out easily so if you want to only record selected sessions you can easily do that.

Users also have profile pages where you can view their linkstreams in a timeline, as well as top pages and top sites visited. Lastly, when you visit other users pages you can see what your similar browser percentage is to the profile you are visiting. I have spoken in the past about looking forward to ways that data from Lifestreams can be leveraged and this is definitely one of those cases.

Privacy seems to come up quite a bit with regards to Lifestreams and the concerns may vary depending on the source material included. I think most of this is due to a lack of understanding. Lifestreams are made up of RSS feeds that are public and readily available based on the service a user has chosen. In some cases you even have the ability to filter items you don’t want to be part of the feed. One example is flagging a bookmark as “do not share” when using del.icio.us. So I really don’t understand most of the concerns because (the collective) we are actively choosing to share this content.

Sharing your web surfing in real-time can definitely be classified as one of the more bold sources of data in your Lifestream, but I find it very intriguing. I like sources that offer more passive forms of sharing such as Last.fm recent tracks and Netflix recent movies. Cluztr definitely falls into this category which I find most interesting.

Cluztr takes the ability to protect privacy seriously and has been listening to users during this beta period to add features recommended. The addition to allow deletion of individual items from the live linkstream is a welcome addition. Another feature is the ability to mark sites as private is available. This is a step in the right direction, but needs tweaking. Currently it’s only available as an all or nothing setting at the domain level. It would be nice to allow blocking only for pages defined specifically within a site structure (mysite.com/admin/), or perhaps certain ports (mysite:com:8080), or other methods I may not be thinking of to still allow public areas of a site to be included but not exposing areas you’d like to keep private. I’m sure they will expand on this functionality as users provide more feedback.

I was also extremely happy to hear in their blog post that they expanded their feed support. A few days ago I only noticed a feed offered for the linkstream timeline. Now they also offer feeds for top pages and top sites visited. These recent additions are excellent options for people that may want to share a smaller subset of their web surfing patterns in their Lifestream.

I am very happy to say that Cluztr is an excellent new service to offer as a source for your Lifestream and I expect to see more people adding it as word gets out. Beyond the great Lifestreaming source, this is a great site with a passionate founder that you should take a look at. I just gave you taste of the other features and didn’t give it the full review treatment it deserves, but I’m tired, and this is the Lifestream Blog 😉 So go sign up and check it out. You can find my page here.

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This Post Has 14 Comments

  1. Nice product idea… But some features failed while I discover it :o(

    I prefer wait LifeLine Engine 3.0 before to add Cluztr, LastFM, or another list sources which produce lot of items everyday… Users (readers) not like to receive too many alerts, or read too long stream ;o)

  2. Olivier,
    Cluztr went down for a bit last night for some maintenance. Everything is back up and working now.

    “… list sources which produce lot of items everyday… Users (readers) not like to receive too many alerts, or read too long stream …”

    You are absolutely right on this point. One of the major requirements for any Lifestreaming application is certainly the ability to distill and filter the stream by a variety of ways. Your friends also need to be able to subscribe to only certain events, so as to not get bombarded with alerts every time you visit a site or listen to a track of music.

    Cluztr and LastFM are mearly publishers of a single dicipline within one’s lifestream – it’s up to the feed readers/aggregators to do their job to present it – in a fashion that creates utility.

  3. Source items with a high frequency of items like Last.fm can definitely present challenges when trying to limit the content from overpowering a Lifestream. I’ve noticed that sites are offering various methods to deal with this. Jaiku will present one song with a “click for more” link, iStalkr offers a link to filter all music from appearing. Neither is very elegant but I’m sure better methods will be created.

    I agree with Jon that this responsibility lies in the hands of the feed readers to create better methods to parse and present the data. Ajax anyone? With that said I like how Cluztr recently offered several flavors of their feeds. The top pages and top sites would definitely provide a much lighter version of the full linkstreams.

  4. I never seen Jaiku “Grouped Entries” feature into sidebar while I click on “2 more” links :o|

    I work to aggregate all daily items from same source into one item (for webpage and feed)… I follow daily digest spirit ;op

    Do you think it’s good idea, Mark ? Jon ?

    nb: Jon, I request an invit number yesterday ;o)

  5. Olivier,
    Aggregating all items from the same source into 1 item, on a daily basis, is a very good idea. It makes navigating someone’s lifestream very intuitive and useful.

    I’ve personally sent you an invite code and you should receive it very soon. If you don’t please let me know.

    Both iStalkr and Jaiku still have along way to go in terms of presenting the streams in a management format.

  6. MSN I NIIPET
    MSN

  7. First, I work to support Cluztr on LifeLine like Twitter and LastFM.

    I plan to build 2 lifestreams in one ! One for permanent content, and new one for instant content or shorties.

  8. I congratule Cluztr for its export features ; feeds, APML, etc… Fine art, Jon ;o)

    Now, LifeLine profiles support Cluztr site-clickstream into “last activities” tab… And link to our Cluztr profile into “about me” tab.

  9. Hello, very nice site, keep up good job!
    Admin good, very good.

  10. Thanks Stasigrii!

  11. hmmm…mb its true ,

  12. Just came across this post and found it one of the bests, just keep posting like this, will definitely be back again! Have a great day.

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Mark Krynsky

I created Lifestream Blog and hope you enjoy the site. I'm always looking for contributors so contact me if you're interested. You can follow the rest of what I like to write about at my personal site or follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+
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