Cluztr: share your web surfing in real time

Cluztr is a social network and browser-based add-on that enables users to broadcast and share their web surfing 'history' in real time, as well as chat to others who are visiting the same site.
Written by Steve O'Hear, Contributor

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With the advent of the social web, we seem more willing than ever to give up aspects of our privacy in exchange for the benefits of social networking and other associated rewards such as personalization and content discovery. Emre Sokullu (over at Read/WriteWeb) has dubbed this phenomenon, The OpenYou, noting that (online) "we get more and more open each day." This has inevitably led to 'people search engines', and the ability to find out an awful lot about someone before actually (or ever) meeting with them face-to-face.

Cluztr page tab

Enter Cluztr -- which is currently an invite-only Beta -- a social network and browser-based add-on (Firefox and Flock only) that embraces this trend towards openness by enabling users to broadcast and share their web surfing 'history' in real time.

(Similar services include me.dium.com and chatsum).

Cluztr marks where people go on the web and "linkcasts" their online location to their friends and the Cluztr community. The browser add-on also provides a sidebar that lists other people who are (or who were recently) on the same page or site.

Cluztr chat tab
In addition, users can chat live with others who are on the same site or page and the discussion is then archived for future visitors.

Overall, the web site and browser side-bar are well designed and fairly intuitive. However, whilst there are a number of privacy controls (for example, a user's browser history can be edited, and 'linkcasting' turned on and off), there doesn't appear to be the option of only 'linkcasting' to nominated friends. I'd be happier using such a service if my surfing was only accessible to specific people. Another suggestion, would be to give the option of starting with all sites blocked from 'linkcasting' by default. Then as a user surfs the web they can quickly create a list of sites they wish to make public.

Cuztr won't be for everybody, but it's certainly an interesting development of the OpenYou.

Readers of this blog who want to try out the service can use the invitation code: 02282726

If you are a company about to launch an exciting new social web service or product and would like me to take a look, get in touch.

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