Somewhere in the distant past, the Internet was a quiet place. Information was limited and, for most users, nearly impossible to discover, not yet divided and subdivided and dispelled in various forms across social networks and aggregates.
Enter today. A simple Google search of a restaurant - say, Spotted Pig here in New York - yields an unsettling number of results: Yelp reviews, New York Magazine reviews, Citysearch reviews, Urbanspoon reviews, and so on. Follow any link, and you’re presented with a near-infinite scroll of thoughts from total strangers, whose context-free input provides little in terms of trustworthy evidence.
Now, enter Cliq. The website, which defines itself as a “the social knowledge engine,” connects users to anything - businesses, products, places, or things - through their social networks, aggregating experiences from individuals with whom users, for obvious reasons, share similar taste. Rather than toss a keyword into the Internet in all its expansiveness, Cliq searches through data on Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare, and compiles it in six forms: on-site Cliqs, Twitter follows, Facebook likes and check-ins, and Foursquare tips and check-ins. As opposed to, say, Yelp, Cliq provides reviews - often straightforward and honest, not to mention diverse in form - users can readily trust. “In today’s day and age, social media being across multiple platforms, a friend or a friend of a friend has probably done business with or purchased something I’m looking at,” explained Alex Khorram, founder of the Philadelphia-based company. “If I’m looking for a restaurant, I just type it into Cliq and it reveals who I know that is connected to this place and what information they have shared about it.”
“Everyone has been so bogged down,” Khorram continued. “I think with all of these issues about social search, there’s no real reference point. Rather than type something into a search engine and get a link, type in the name of a business, product, or brand that you want to learn more about, and we’ve created a consolidated media page.” Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare, despite their enormous base, do not give users easy access to specific shared data, be it in the form of a Tweet, a wall post, or a check-in. Cliq, conversely, compiles all their information in one place. Users that log-in to Cliq through Facebook, furthermore, get immediate access to their friends’ reviews, as well as access to friends of friends in the form of an anonymous post, as to protect privacy. "Since all of the search results are based on shared social data, Cliq users can significantly improve their own search results by inviting friends to log-in,” Khorram added. Cliq, in this regard, steps beyond mere convenience, making the once-impossible possible.
Cliq has large plans for itself, including the release of an app and, over the next six months, the indexing of all businesses and products in the world. It’s greatest potential, though, may be unlocked by the proliferation of social media, as greater use and sharing means more information for Cliq, which, in turn, means more information for its users. Collectively, said Khorram, this will lead us to one simple but desirable goal: “For every person in the world to make better decisions.”