This is still a draft; it might even get discarded when restoring the wiki.
Cluenet was originally born as a community-oriented shell account provider; a more unified version of ShellsNet. Having obtained a Cluenet account and authorized for shell access, you would receive access to many different servers in diverse geographical locations.
There were, of course, other services as well – mail, personal websites, XMPP on the
cluenet.org domain; a DistCC cluster (for a short while anyway); even personal Xen-based virtual servers. And of course you could host anything you like, on the servers you could access.
At least that's what it was in the past.
Over time, people lost interest in Cluenet; many users, server admins, and even both founders practically left the network. My (grawity's) own guess is that the decline in users was partly caused by Crispy's and Cobi's overly detailed & bureaucratic 4th version of the signup process, where access approvals could take weeks if not months; much longer than almost anywhere else (even though we ran about a dozen of servers, while most other providers had one or two).
Partly, also, because of the increasing availability of commercial VPS hosts/providers, which let you have a full server of your own for just $5~$15 per month, with more resources and less hassle. (Although I am not too sure about this, as a large part of our users – including myself in the early days – were people who couldn't afford it or simply had no way to pay online.)
These days Cluenet runs somewhere around 3-5 shell servers (virgule, eta, abacus,
radian), alongside a few "unofficial" ones that only accept local logins. One or two servers could be cluenetified if there was any demand. Unfortunately, there is a general trend of server owners becoming bored and vanishing from the 'net, and even popular servers going poof or just withering away.