Oct. 23rd, 2005 09:57 pm
oneirophrenia: (Berzerk2)
A while bag, I heard that there was a new "social browser" project in the works called Flock in the works, and that, according to C-Net, Engadget, and OS News, it was earning quite a bit of buzz. I took a look at the website and it was perfectly hideous--looked like an eight-year-old with an eight-year-old copy of CoffeeCup HTML Editor had thrown it together. It was devoid of virtually all information and perfectly useless. Didn't even have a beta version or anything to play with. So I figured it was all just aimless hype--something along the lines of Neoplanet or any of the 1,000+ useless "alternative browsers" out there.

But you all know I'm a browser whore (my machines are all stocked with IE, Firefox, Netscape 8.x, Opera, and whatever other useful browser I can come upon, just for shits and giggles), so when I found out the other day that Flock finally had a developer's preview available, I downloaded it to check it out. I also learned more about its basic premise: it's based on Firefox, but with a number of "social" functions integrated right into the browser, nameless del.icio.us-based bookmark management, a blogging tool, and a Flickr tool to make it easier to show everyone pictures of your cat. Well, I decided to see what the hype was all about.

Turns out, it's a really nice product. Even for a beta. I mean, don't get me wrong--it's still basically Firefox. But I actually really like the integrated del.icio.us bookmark management system. First of all, del.icio.us itself is a visual mess--more of an ass-pain to navigate than virtually every site I've ever used...but fortunately Flock just uses it as a web-based place to store bookmarks. This is really cool, because that means if I run Flock on two computers (desktop and laptop, say), and I bookmark a site on one machine, it will automatically be accessible from the other. That's pretty goddamned handy.

I haven't done anything with the Flickr tool, 'cause I just have no use for Flickr. However, the built-in blogging tool is actually very handy, too. I can post to Pegritz.com now as easily as I would normally post to LJ.

Mind you, there's nothing that Flock does that can't be done with any number of Firefox extensions...but the fact that the browser itself has these functions integrated right into it is kind of neat. There are still other functions, such as extended RSS capabilities, that I haven't even begun to goof around with yet, but so far I'm getting a surprising amount of use out of the bookmarks and blogging tools, so...I guess I'll keep it around and add it to the browser corral.


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