Home » Uncategorized » How I Broke from the Herd and Joined the Flock

How I Broke from the Herd and Joined the Flock

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Time has released their annual list of the top 50 websites. I’m not sure what they’re thinking; I doubt that 80% of what they listed as a top site would have made my personal list. More in tune with what’s happening on the Internet, but still no cigar, is the companion list they have posted, 25 Sites We Can’t Live Without. If they can honestly opine that online shoe storeZappos.comis a “can’t miss” site, then being technologically impaired may be the least of their problems.

And moving right along to the technology portion of today’s post, I’ve been playing with the newest version of Flock, a browser based on Firefox but more focused on the social aspects of the web. Drag-and-drop integration with Flickr, blogging tools, a built-in newsreader, a spell checker, and favorites that are simultaneously saved to your favorite social bookmarking site, are just some of the features today’s 2.0 consumer will love. Since the browser is based on the same code as Firefox, many of the extensions developed for that browser work with this browser, too. (They finally added support for the AI Roboform extension, an extension that I can’t live without.)

My favorite feature would have to be the integration with Flickr, though. On install, a wizard walks you through adding your Flickr, Photobucket, and blogging accounts. Clicking on the photo button in the tool bar will then bring up a “topbar” – a designated strip at the top of the page – that displays a horizontally-scrollable banner of your photos. Leaving photos in comments (like MySpace) is made much easier by the drag-and-drop interface. Instead of having to visit Flickr, find your photo, choose the size, and select, copy, and paste the code snippet into the comment, you can now just drag the photo into the comment box and the code is populated for you. How cool is that? There’s also an upload option in the Flickr topbar with all the features the native Flickr tools have, plus a very neat tagging interface.

The blogging tools are pretty cool, too. Although I use the Performancing Firefox plugin (it works in Flock, too), I find that Flock’s blogging tool gives it a good run for its money. It has the standard rich-text formatting options that Performancing has, as well as a source code view, Technorati tags that are much easier to add than anything else I’ve used, and a spell checker (although the Performancing extension now has one by proxy thanks to one integrated in the Flock browser.)

As I mentioned in a previous post, I use the Wiz RSS reader for my news feeds. Flock includes a news reader in the browser, and I find that I prefer the Flock one. For one, the interface is cleaner and better organized, but I like that “save” and “\blog” links are provided below each post. Some posts also feature “email this” and “save to Deli.cio.us” links. (I’m assuming that if one chose Shadows as their online bookmarking application, it would say “save to Shadows.”)

Speaking of the bookmarking feature, it’s especially convenient to save to your social bookmarking site of choice. By simply clicking the favorite icon and holding, a dialog will pop up that allows you to enter a description, tags, and categories. Clicking OK will save it in whatever service you chose in setup. Clicking on the Favorites menu displays your most recent entries at your social bookmarking site.

All in all, this might be the perfect browser. I suggest you flock right on over to their site and check it out for yourselves!

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Blogged with Flock


1 Comment

  1. Allyn says:

    Nice article. I enjoyed it so much I link to it from my site. Good job!

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