Just the other day, I noticed this service come across my FeedReader. It’s called CLIQ but the domain is actually CLIQin.com CLIQ is a service that allows bloggers to work together in order to share their collective readership as well as audience engagement. Members who are part of the same CLIQ share links to featured, popular and related posts on their own site through the CLIQ Widget. Users can manage which posts are featured on the widget as well as see reports about which blogs and posts are getting the most views and driving the most referrals around the CLIQ. By the end of this review, your going to be sick and tired of seeing the word CLIQ.
First Things First:
When you register an account with CLIQ, you’ll be presented with two options. Starting your own CLIQ or joining a pre-existing CLIQ. For the purpose of this review, I have created my own called Jeffro2pt0 A CLIQ Covering SEO, Blogging and Web 2.0. When creating your own, you’ll be presented with a number of options. These include the name of your CLIQ, Description, username, email, password, BLOG URL, and CLIQ Enrollment where you can choose whether to make your CLIQ private (invite only) or public. I have chosen to make my CLIQ private because I want to have complete control over who joins my group. Since I’ll have complete control over who joins my CLIQ, I can ensure that only relevant blog postings and URLs are displayed within my widget.
Your CLIQ Widget:
After you register your CLIQ, your given the chance to invite others via email. Unlike Quechup, your friends won’t be bombarded with invite spam since this is a manual process. Once your done with the invites, you can then give your CLIQ a public avatar image. This image will represent your CLIQ and will be seen within the CLIQ directory.
At the time of this writing, CLIQ only supports three different color schemes for their widget. Those are: Shiny Silver, Bold Black, and Goofy Green. I would imagine that there will be additional color schemes available sometime in the future but I wonder, why don’t services that offer a widget give users the chance to colorize the widget themselves via CSS or HEX codes? It can’t be that hard to implement. The minimum width of the widget is 160px but will scale to fit the width of your blogs sidebar.
Once you choose your theme and move on to the next step, CLIQin will automatically try to recognize the blogging software attached to your domain and provide you with the appropriate code to copy and paste into your blogs sidebar. Here is some detailed information from the CLIQ support forums in regards to which blogging platforms are currently supported.
In order to fully support a blog platform, two things have to “work” :
1. CLIQ has to be able to ‘read in’ information about the posts (Title, Tags, etc.)
Currently, we fully support blogs with standard templates on TypePad, WordPress and Blogger.
Blog templates with customized fields and names for data elements require some manual set-up from our team, which we can do on a case-by-case basis.
We are looking into ‘slimmed down’ versions of the CLIQ Widget that would offer (likely limited) functionality on the platforms we don’t yet support…so stayed tuned!
Configuring The Widget:
There are a few options in which you can use to configure what is displayed within the widget on other blogs. You can choose to feature your most RECENT post which is updated daily. You can choose to feature your LONG TAIL which shows one of the five posts with the least total views, this also rotates daily. Or you can choose the manual option and select an article from the list of articles that are presented to you. This is a good feature if you want to pump some Google Juice into a specific page.
There are a few things that I don’t like about this widget. The first is that, it doesn’t look good if you have a skinny sidebar for widgets. The text appears cramped and at times, the content within the widget looks like a mess. The second, there is no link displayed that allows visitors to JOIN the CLIQ or at least REQUEST TO JOIN if private.
Since I created an account yesterday, the reports section of CLIQ is pretty bare. The reports section displays a dynamically generated graph that highlights views that were contributed through CLIQ. You can choose to view stats from your own blog, member blogs or, all blogs. The stats timetable is broken up into three sections: The Last 1 Day, Last 7 Days and Last 30 Days. Alternatively, you can select ALL VIEWS or how many times your CLIQ Page was viewed within the CLIQ Directory.
Overall, this service reminds me of old fashioned web rings from way back when. Web rings were essentially a group of websites that were all related towards a specific topic. Maybe I’ll coin a new term here and say that CLIQ is WebRings 2.0. Unlike MyBlogLog, BlogRush, or any other community based widget I have come across, this one gives site owners full control over who is part of the group which means, you can really create a targeted CLIQ and share each other’s traffic. Because most if not all of the posts within your CLIQ will be related, there is a higher probability of someone clicking on your blog post, thereby gaining you a new visitor.
I would compare this service to BlogRush but that is for another post. If your a blogger currently using BlogRush, I strongly advise you to check this service out and create your own CLIQ. Work on inviting high traffic blogs that are related to your content and build a small niche network where everyone within your CLIQ benefits. As it stands, I currently have my own CLIQ. If your blog covers the topics of SEO, Web 2.0, Blogging or WordPress related material, your welcome to request an invite to join the group.
As always, I look forward to hearing your feedback whether it be about this review, grammatical corrections or questions.