I first saw a demo of Flock at Pop!Tech in 2005 – I remember feeling it was cool because it brought together so many tools into one space. And I’m re-visiting Flock today, withe the launch of Flock 1.0 beta.
What I like:
I’m liking it – it is like integrating my desktop-browsing-bookmarking-tagging-publishing-social networking all in one. More specifically:
- It just looks so much more appealing than most other browsers – brighter and more vibrant somehow
- The sidebar is really pretty cool – i like the People sidebar a lot – it lets me login to my Flickr, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube accounts and it displays pictures and latest updates from my friends and community. That’s quite special – because it’s all coming into my space now, without my having to go to my Flickr or Facebook homepages, or use IM or Twitterific to tweet. And all this without actually having to download toolbars and extensions. It also lets me send updates, load pictures etc so easily. That’s a big wow to have all of this in one place.
- I like the Media bar too .. its lovely to actually just have pictures up there .. makes work so much more fun! And the drag-and-drop features.
- And the Clipboard is cool too – I could clip an image I wanted into it and Blog it from there.
- The blog editor misses some things, but I like the idea of having one editor that lets you publish to several blogs across blogging platforms like Blogger and WordPress (which I use) right from your browser, without having to go to each blog.
- I found I could post links to and tag in del.icio.us in a similar manner as I do from Firefox – that’s good.
- I got myself the screenshot extension – it’s cool – just click that star on top! Am waiting for more plug-ins and extensions to be developed around Flock.
What I miss/don’t like in Flock 1.0:
- My biggest grouse is that the blogging editor is very basic. Am not sure I will really be able to blog from there – no picture uploads, not much WYSIWYG formatting possible. For this post, I had to get the logo from someone else’s blog, and use their bandwidth to be able to display it here. Still, I found a way to insert the image without having to upload it to Facebook or Flickr – I got into image view at the post where the image was located, and dragged the image into the inbuilt Clipboard in Flock. Once there it gave me three option – view, blog and delete. So I clicked ‘blog’ and it opened up in the blog editor. That’s fine for images that are already on the web, but what’s really required is for it to allow me to bring in my own images saved on my computer, or even better, straight off my camera or mobile phone into the Clipboard! Also, it doesn’t allow you to post to multiple categories.
- My second grouse is that although I have changed my default search engine in Preferences to Google, I am always taken to the Yahoo search page. That’s not good.
- Teeny third grouse – when I use livesearch on the top right corner of the browser, it opens up on the same tab I am on – I want it to open the page in a new tab
Other random thoughts and my watchlist around Flock:
- Is all this activity in the side bar going to burn huge holes in my pocket – here in India, we pay a lot for half-decent broadband and there are limits on your usage (I pay approx. Rs.1700 ($42) every month for bundled usage of 7.5 MB – anything over that is charged to me at Rs. 0.90 ($2.25 per 100 mb’s).
- Am wondering too whether it’s going to eat up my memory, and slow down other applications.
- The other thought I had was with a browser that’s so intuitive, and one that can become a real dashboard for your own footprints on the web and for your community of friends, am wondering what happens to measurements and web metrics like time spent on site, page views, unique visitors, click rate etc. RSS and Newsreaders are already redefining how we search and navigate the web and forcing people to redefine how they measure popularity and ‘success’.
Am posting this from the Flock editor now .. let’s see how it works!
UPDATE: that was easy .. and was quick too to show up at my blog.
Blogged with Flock