Flock 0.7 Beta and Me

What am I doing on my vacation day?  Installing and playing with Flock 0.7 Beta, what else?

Flock is a Firefox-based browser that is, well, I suppose you could say "Community Enabled".  Its also still a bit buggy, but then, its a beta.  To be honest, it is in MUCH better shape that the last version I tried.  This is a post from the built-in blogging tools.  I had to experiment a bit, using the "Blogger API" for blogs.sun.com didn't work, so I started picking and choosing...if this posts without error, then the settings I used are:

API: WordPress Blog

API URI: http://blogs.sun.com/roller/xmlrpc

User ID: mine

Password: Idon'tthinkso

The error path for using the "Blogger API" isn't right, so there was no error when you press "Next", it just stops with no error message.  So, hit the "Back" button and try again.

I like the new look and feel, but that is just a Theme, nothing special there.  There are a few VERY noticeable changes in Flock from Firefox:

- Built in RSS Aggregation - Basically, you can set up your RSS feeds in your side bar and they are displayed natively in your browser in a nicely layed out table.  Really, its a great feature.  You can automatically add to your "My News" page by clicking on the Live Bookmarks link that displays to the right of the URL in the address bar.  It took me some clicking around before I realized this...in fact, I was just going to slam the lack of integration when I saw the icon ;-)  Oops...now I think it is VERY cool.  The only question I always have about all of these RSS feeds is whether I would rather surf the sites themselves or look at the RSS aggregation page.  I'm still, personally, up in the air on it.

- Built in Community Sites - Well, actually, only Flickr and Photobucket are supported...but its a start.  The photo support is interesting, basically, Flock has introduced a "Top Bar".  When I installed Flock it prompted me for information about my Flickr account.  Once you've added your photo account properly, you can drag and drop into the toolbar from anywhere (from the browser, from your explorer, from your desktop) and a Photo Upload appears where you can tag your photo appropriately.  Once uploaded, the picture remains in your top navigation bar.  Very cool indeed.

- Built in Blog Tools - Like this one...at this point, it doesn't seem "as feature rich" as something like w.bloggar, but there are some interesting options.  For instance, if I want to blog about something I've surfed to, I can simply right click when I'm reading some content and choose the "Blog This" option.  My blog (that I set up during configuration or after in the options) tool pops up and I can start blogging.

- Built in Web Snippets - If I don't want to blog immediately, I can save a location as a Web Snippet.  Then, in the bottom corner of my browser window, I can see all of my snippets.  A bottom navigation bar appears and I can see all of my snippets.  I can then drag the snippet into the main browser pane to go back, or into my blog tool like this: Jonathan Schwartz's Weblog

So, here's what I'm doing...I'm temporarily done with Firefox.  I'm moving to Flock for the time being.  I'm giving it the "three crash test".  When it crashes three times, I'm done.  If you're interested, it has only crashed on me once in an hour...so...

At this point, I give Flock a B rating (stable, some new stuff, but its not compelling enough for me to risk uninstalling Firefox and IE on my Windows machine).  There is potential...

And just for the heck of it, since everything is Web 2.0 ;-)  I'll give it a 3.5\*(2.0) rating...basically, 7.0 on a 10.0 scale :-)  It definitely advances Web 2.0 concepts through the community integration (one feature I didn't mention is the automatic integration to sites like del.icio.us and Shadows so I can move my bookmarks around.  I'll reserve the right to move my 2.0 rating up or down as I play with it :-)

Blogged with Flock


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