Data Control Console Released for Social-networking Users

Cliqset has developed a Web-based system that lets people manage from a central location their social-networking identity and data, becoming the latest company to address the portability problem for online social data.

On Tuesday, the Jacksonville, Florida, startup will begin letting anyone try out their service as part of a broader, public beta period, according to the company.

People who sign up with Cliqset can create a social profile that is independent but compatible with social-networking sites, the company said.

The goal is to give social-networking users more control over their social-networking data like friends lists, status updates and messages, so that this data isn't locked into specific Web sites. That way, people will not have to re-enter this data and manually update it in their individual social-networking profiles, social Web applications and other online services.

Cliqset, which is privately held and was founded in August of last year, is far from alone in this market. All major social-networking players, including MySpace, Facebook and Google, have launched services that aim to increase data portability. There are also groups devoted to the issue, like the Data Portability Project.

"We don't want to be a destination site, but rather a pure platform to help and facilitate the open Web," said Darren Bounds, Cliqset's president.

Cliqset also offers APIs (application programming interfaces) to developers who want to create Web applications that tap into users' social data. The service is compatible with open standards like the OpenID digital identity framework and the OAuth user authentication protocol. In addition, Cliqset plans to release the full source code of its Outlook, iPhone and Windows Mobile applications to developers.

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