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Firefox-based Social Browser Flock Launches 329

daria42 writes "The much-hyped Flock, a new browser based on Mozilla Firefox and integrating features like RSS feeds, blogging tools, the del.icio.us social bookmarking and Flickr photo sharing services has just launched a public developer preview to the world. Flock is being driven by a team of developers being led by Bart Decrem, a well-known open source developer who co-founded the ill-fated Eazel project back in 1999 and has been involved with both the Mozilla and GNOME foundations. On his blog this week he says Flock won't be forking the Firefox codebase."
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Firefox-based Social Browser Flock Launches

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  • Browser UI (Score:5, Funny)

    by afree87 ( 102803 ) on Thursday October 20, 2005 @09:34PM (#13841709) Journal
    Hmm... it has gradients... it has shadows... why, this must be Web 2.0!
    • Re:Browser UI (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Seumas ( 6865 )
      What do you expect? It's obviously designed to appeal to clueless young people who see the web and internet as nothing more than an updated version of the old $2.99/minute local party line. It's the browser for those who like cliques and get off browsing through countless meaningless photos of people you've never met in person while sharing bookmarks with random people and reading about some random person's love-live - in all their failing grammatical glory and self infatuation.
  • by brian0918 ( 638904 ) <`brian0918' `at' `gmail.com'> on Thursday October 20, 2005 @09:35PM (#13841715)
    The "Go back" and "Go forward" buttons have merged into an all powerful "stay here" button.
  • by connah0047 ( 850585 ) on Thursday October 20, 2005 @09:37PM (#13841725)
    A social browser is what you contract from visiting too many websites.
  • Extra! Extra! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by evil agent ( 918566 )
    They've upgraded their 4th rate website to a 3rd rate website. Clearly, we are witnessing the future.
  • cutting edge? (Score:5, Informative)

    by dioscaido ( 541037 ) on Thursday October 20, 2005 @09:38PM (#13841728)
    Web 2.0? It's just firefox with a few extensions and a different skin...
    • I agree that this is just FF with a skin and some plugins.
      If they really want to be a "social" browser, why'd they overlook BitTorrent?
      Is this a group that can only make skins? I know there isn't (that I've found) a FF plugin for BT, but would it really be hard for a group that supposes to make a better browser?
    • Re:cutting edge? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by TeacherOfHeroes ( 892498 ) on Thursday October 20, 2005 @10:07PM (#13841874)
      Every once in a while someone makes a +5 Insightful comment about how there should be a version of Firefox with the more popular extentions built in so that the average user gets more functionality and doesn't have to do all the work themselves.

      Finally someone does it, and people are quick to start belittling it for not being something fantastic and earth shattering. It said straight up that it was based on Firefox.

      It's not doing anything nasty like Netscape did, so this just means that there are more alternatives out there. Last time I checked, that was considered to be good around here.
      • Re:cutting edge? (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Eideewt ( 603267 )
        Are you sure they built in some of the more popular extensions? The impression I got was that they added new stuff but didn't bundle anything. I thought that was why they had a bunch of links to popular extensions on their site.
      • Re:cutting edge? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Threni ( 635302 )
        >Finally someone does it, and people are quick to start belittling it for not being
        >something fantastic and earth shattering. It said straight up that it was based on
        >Firefox.

        Because it's different people doing the suggesting and the belittling?
    • Re:cutting edge? (Score:3, Insightful)

      I fully agree. I was expecting a lot more from this. I've used extensions that do almost all of these things.

      In my book, you don't get points for redesigning a browser that was already written with a front end for a bookmarking system that was already written.

      Yes, I know there are other features. See paragraph 1.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 20, 2005 @09:38PM (#13841729)
    ...is an anti-social browser.
  • It usually helps... (Score:5, Informative)

    by CanSpice ( 300894 ) on Thursday October 20, 2005 @09:38PM (#13841730) Homepage
  • by CyricZ ( 887944 ) on Thursday October 20, 2005 @09:45PM (#13841765)
    Just so web developers know, the User-Agent string of this browser (under Linux) is:

    Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv:1.8b5) Gecko/20051019 Flock/0.4 Firefox/1.0+

    So if you see it in your server logs, it's because the user is using Flock. If you do see it, please post here so we can gauge the spread of this browser.

  • Prediction (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nmb3000 ( 741169 ) <nmb3000@that-google-mail-site.com> on Thursday October 20, 2005 @09:45PM (#13841766) Journal
    I'm going to predict this will pretty much get a bit of hype, then slowly (or not so slowly) fade away into the mists of the Interweb.

    Seriously. If there's one thing I think most people can agree on, it's that the number of successful web browsers seems bounded pretty low. You've pretty much got IE, Firefox/Mozilla, Opera, and Safari. I imagine that those are the only browsers showing up with at least 5% in server logs, but in the past there have been many more, some getting more attention than others.

    People want to use mainstream browsers. Giving me quick access to something like a blog or Flickr isn't "innovative". A bookmark/favorite does the same thing with less overhead. I can get all sorts of functionality with Firefox and IE using extensions and ActiveX. If Flock is based on Firefox, but they don't plan to fork the codebase or do anything more than GUI changes and extension-cabable add-ons, then what's the point?

    The Internet public has a way of weeding out browsers. The mainstream ones stay put (unless they get screwed by major corporations, *cough* Netscape 6 *cough*) and these amazing "new" ones go the way of the dodo. This one will be no different.
    • Don't you know, it's the new bubble!! ... it's once again all about packaging up a bunch of ideas other people thought were better left seperated, putting lipstick on it, and then selling out to a corporation in acquisition mode.

      You and I can look and say: firefox with skin and plugins? wtf? But they look and say: "omg!!111!!! must buy this!!111!"

    • Re:Prediction (Score:5, Informative)

      by jalefkowit ( 101585 ) <jasonNO@SPAMjasonlefkowitz.net> on Thursday October 20, 2005 @10:39PM (#13842007) Homepage
      Giving me quick access to something like a blog or Flickr isn't "innovative". A bookmark/favorite does the same thing with less overhead.

      I thought the same thing until I actually tried the Flock Developer Preview that was just released. (I'm posting this from it now.)

      I was all set to be unimpressed but I have to tell you, it's pretty impressive if you have a blog how easy they have made posting Web content to it. There's a "shelf" tool, for starters, that you use by just highlighting any text on a page and dragging-and-dropping it into the Shelf. Then, when you want to post about that text, you just click the "Blog this" button on the toolbar; this opens a new post (Flock autodetects the settings for your blog, so there's no configuration if you use most popular packages) in a WYSIWYG editor. Drag the text from the shelf into the editor and it pops the text in, encloses it in BLOCKQUOTE tags, and adds the cite="" attribute with the URL from the original page.

      Revolutionary? Maybe not. But it's so damn slick! Currently when I blog something I copy it from Firefox into an HTML editor (Movable Type's built in editor sucks), mark it up there, log into the admin screen for my blog, then paste the marked-up text into a new post. Oh, and then I have to go back and find the original URL, copy it, and paste it in the appropriate pages. That's a lot of back and forth that Flock eliminates.

      Some people use a tool like MarsEdit [ranchero.com] or wBloggar [wbloggar.com] to combine the "markup" and "posting" steps together in one place. But Flock puts all the features of those products right in my browser -- no switching between programs, no copy/paste gymnastics. There's a market for those products, so it's not a big leap to imagine a market for Flock, either (albeit a small one).

      It'll be interesting to see how well Flock holds up to ongoing use over time. But my first impressions are better than I expected them to be. You might want to try it too before you pass judgement...

      (Random other observation: Flock changes the default engine for the Firefox search box from Google to Yahoo! A political statement? Is Yahoo! connected to Flock somehow? Veeery interesting...)

      • People with blogs and flickr accounts should all be put to work in a VW manufacturing factory, all while listening to "Afternoon Delight" over and over again on their iPods until their eyes bleed. We'll have to find a word to combine "yuppie" "sheep" and "pretentions asshole".

        Eat my Karma baby. It's soooo worth it.
      • You mean, it makes it *easier* for people to dump non-original crap into their blogs? That's a step backwards, in my book.
        • OK, the name "blog" is pretty pathetic. But a blog can be many things. It can be Daring Fireball [daringfireball.net] or GrokLaw [groklaw.net] or Gelf Magazine [gelfmagazine.com]. Sure, there are thousands of blogs of no interest to anyone but their creators, but really, is there anything wrong with that? I thought the Slashdot ethos encompassed the notion that diversity is a good thing. Or is that true only of technology, but not expression of thought?

          Seriously, every time someone bashes on "blogs" it sounds to me like people bashing on television. Fine. Do

    • This will be a HUGE flash ... but will suffer as soon as their back end servers are crushed under the weight of all the new "blogs" created.

      I'm posting this from Flock right now. It doesn't even have a "stop" button, but it does have an option "blog editor".

      It didn't offer to auto-import my FireFox bookmarks, but it did offer to import IE (on Windows).

      I think this will be all about how much stress their servers can handle ... before they attempt to sell-out to some bigger company. It's all about the bandwid
    • Giving me quick access to something like a blog or Flickr isn't "innovative". A bookmark/favorite does the same thing with less overhead.

      No, it doesn't. I haven't made up my mind on Flock yet, but at least I'm using it before making an opinion. You, clearly, are not, and haven't tried to.
    • Re:Prediction (Score:5, Interesting)

      by nine-times ( 778537 ) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Thursday October 20, 2005 @11:08PM (#13842129) Homepage
      I'm going to predict this will pretty much get a bit of hype, then slowly (or not so slowly) fade away into the mists of the Interweb.

      Seriously. If there's one thing I think most people can agree on, it's that the number of successful web browsers seems bounded pretty low. You've pretty much got IE, Firefox/Mozilla, Opera, and Safari. I imagine that those are the only browsers showing up with at least 5% in server logs, but in the past there have been many more, some getting more attention than others.

      I don't think it's just a problem of, we have too many browsers, or that this new browser doesn't add any nice features. I think the real question is, is it clear enough what the benefit of using "Flock" is?

      I think most people right now think of there being two kinds of browsers: IE, that feature-poor default browser that gets blamed for all the security problems-- and then just "everything else". Firefox, Safari, Camino, and Opera all fit into the "everything else" category, and though they may be different from each other, they all offer the advantages of tabs, pop-up blocking, RSS feeds, and not-being-IE. Everyone has their favorite, but I don't think, for the most part, any of them distinguish themselves greatly enough to be much more than a matter of preference. None of them quite make it to be THE browser to use.

      So I think the question might be something like: Are the benefits of Flock clear enough to distinguish itself as THE browser to use, or will Flock become just another on the list of maybes. I think if it sticks on the list of maybes, inertia alone will keep it from displacing any of the other bigger browsers very much.

      I'm not talking about whether Flock is good or not, but are the benefits going to be clear to joe-schmoe. With tabs and pop-up blockers, it's rather easy to show those things to my parents and explain, this is why you want this browser. Are the benefits that clear with Flock? I'll tell you, I'm not even sure I understand what's supposed to be good about this new browser yet.

      If they can't answer that question, I'd say they'll be trapped with a bit of a marketing problem. There's the niche of technical people who use flickr and blog alot who might appreciate the features, but they can be a tough crowd to hold on to en masse. Without capturing the imagination of a larger audience, I don't know if they'll be able to reach critical mass.

  • by G4from128k ( 686170 ) on Thursday October 20, 2005 @09:45PM (#13841768)
    Social bookmarking would seem to be an ideal target for spammers and other malefactors of the net. How do systems such as Flock keep spammers from touting commercial links?

    These systems would also make ideal phishing grounds. Posting a fake "eBay" link ("look at this cool auction!!!") would take the target person to a faked eBay auction page (e.g with an IDN exploit [shmoo.com]) or just a scam domain (ebbay.com, etc.) that then asks for a eBay or Paypal password. Since many of the people that would follow a socially bookmarked eBay link are eBay/Paypal users the phisher would get a high hit rate.

    Even if the system relies on some form of accumulated reputation or trust networks, its still possible for someone to cultivate a great reputation before abusing the system with spam or phishing.

    • by raarky ( 653241 ) on Thursday October 20, 2005 @10:12PM (#13841893)
      Thats where a homeostatic feedback system can really help.

      Currently the web is a sort of one way medium. With flock, it can help it to become a 2 way medium much easier.
      Agents in this sort of system (People will then be able to filter out the data for the masses to consume.

      Have a look at reddit.com
      Its a great example of how the wider community filters out the bad stuff.

      Another is to take a look a slashdot.
      Its a two way system. You post, someone moderates.
      Overall it creates a collective emergent intelligence which filters out the bad stuff and leaves in information you desire.
      The higher the score, the better this system works.

      The key part is of course the identity of an agent.
      I'm pretty sure someone isn't going to spend lots of time manually building up their karma just to get banned in one fell swoop by posting up a few ads. Its simply not cost effective.

      • by irc.goatse.cx troll ( 593289 ) on Thursday October 20, 2005 @10:52PM (#13842062) Journal
        Slashdot is the perfect example of why this is bad. Or everything2. Or wikipedia.

        Large masses with moderation powers leads to centerist bullshit that tries to please everyone rather than being factually accurate. You post what everyone can easily agree with (We need to protect our children, microsoft is bad, firefly is good, apple and google are gods who can do no evil, etc) and you get modded up. You post something accurate that pisses people off, and you get modded down.
        • Thats a matter of opinion and subject.

          In the arena of slashdot, sure its a sort of democratic system that brings out a specific view point or weighs in heavily of a specific subject matter but thats what this system is about. Finding out what the masses are in favour for. Yes is tramples all over minorities which means there is a gap left that could be exploited if someone can come up with a system that fixes it.
          Also, remember that all these opinions are of ONE demographic. I bet you slashdot would start le
        • by cgenman ( 325138 ) on Friday October 21, 2005 @08:27AM (#13843824) Homepage
          Oddly enough, I'd have to disagree.

          Moderators on Slashdot have gotten a lot better about modding down opinions they disagree with, and instead have taken to just posting disagreements. You'll notice the number of pro-Microsoft comments that get modded up in any Microsoft-is-evil story.

          As one guy who posts more than he probably should, Modders seem to respond these days to forcefully held opinions part of which they personally, individually agree with. Therefore the best way to get modded up is to agressively defend a lot of little positions that will appeal to several subgroups, especially underrepresented ones. For example, "It is clear that the furry community of Canada have become THE mainstream SkyOS users of choice, but not all of the time." Don't do it all in one sentence, of course, and don't get fur into your keyboard. Defending two fundamentally opposite but technically non-conflicting viewpoints also helps get mod points. If the "Microsoft is a convicted monopolist" half of your post doesn't get a particular moderator, the "but Microsoft has done a lot of good things" half will.

          Changing your subject line seems to reduce your chances of getting modded up, strangely enough. Also swear once, and only once. This proves just how muck you fucking believe what you're posting. Real people swear.

          All of that is only if you don't have anything to say. These days, the other good way to get modded up is to know your stuff and have something to actually say. If it is an article about Unix Microsoft, and you happened to sit in on a few dozen meetings with MS about it, post. It will be moderated up. If it is about the Free Software Federation of Florence, and you happen to be a member of Love, Linux, and Linguine, post.

          While it can be gamed, the Slashdot moderating system seems to work. I hardly ever see posts modded to 0 which don't deserve it, or posts at +5 which really, really shouldn't be. Really, the only major problem is that there aren't enough genuinely good posts. But that's not a fault of the moderation system, just a sign that people have things to do with their lives.

          As someone that has worked with user-created content professionally, I'd have to say that Slashdot is a shining example of what's possible. You have hundreds of comments on a story, 10 of which are worth reading. But those 10 are of the quality of journalism you would find at News.com, the Register.co.uk, and the New York Times... You know, the "I'm professional, really" rags. And there are whole threads of interesting discussions that haven't degraded to usenet-level postings. All of this by volunteers who probably should be doing something else.

          And if you want to see what's possible, try browsing with everything turned down except "funny" mods up +5.

          I'm really looking forward to Flickr. Collaborative content, collaborative filtering, and multi-direction communication seems to be driving the internet forward these days. And it's about time... TNINTV.

  • by zappepcs ( 820751 ) on Thursday October 20, 2005 @09:45PM (#13841771) Journal
    Despite the dour response that will happen on /., I believe that it is necessary that such things as this happen. Forget your toolbar crap, get an entire browser based on the things that you want to do on the web. This is just the other side of the coin when you look at web based software business... a web browser that completes your business needs.. look for more of the same, and some of them actually being exciting!
    • by swb ( 14022 )
      Forget your toolbar crap, get an entire browser based on the things that you want to do on the web.

      Are we going full circle and just reinventing AOL or other online services applications? We're coming back to the "online service application" -- the one program used for email, viewing information, "everything" you can do online....
  • Let's all Flock away (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Psx29 ( 538840 )
    IMO there's no reason to make another fork of firefox especially when all this functionality can easily be accomplished with _plugins_.
  • Note to developers (Score:4, Insightful)

    by toupsie ( 88295 ) on Thursday October 20, 2005 @09:51PM (#13841799) Homepage
    I want my web browser to browse the web. Quit trying to bloat it out with k-k00l web 2.0 features. Just make it stable, secure and fast. About the best thing you can do is add a spell checker to the TextArea and Input fields of forms like Safari. Plus if I want to flickr my firefox, I will hunt down an extension.

    Have a nice day and enjoy the VC money. Foosball rox!

    • by CyricZ ( 887944 ) on Thursday October 20, 2005 @09:57PM (#13841826)
      If you want a lightweight browser, then you could always use Konqueror or Opera. They have nowhere near the bloat of Mozilla-based browsers, yet still offer all of the features expected from a modern browser.

    • The spell checker is system wide in OS X. Safari isn't any special in this regard.
    • Note to devs: not everyone is a developer. Some people like gadgets, some people don't and then there is everyone in between. Just look at the range of cell-phones on the market and then tell me that people don't like gadgets. Flock is a product that is likely to find appeal in Asia and amongst teens who want to share everything about themselves with friends. The are still some UI improvements that could be made, but otherwise it is an interesting product.

      Remember how people on slashdot shot down the iPod w
  • ...led by Bart Decrem...

    That should be Badr Decrem.
  • built in blogging tools, plus you can highlight text/urls/images, right click and choose 'blog this'. I like the 'shelf' allot; a small window that allows you to drag blocks of text to blog with later. favorites automatically upates your del.ico.us bookmarks - that's nifty...it sorta feels like a pimped out FF with a bunch of extentions, but they are pretty helpful, and cool if you want to blog allot. will it change the world? no, but it may allow ppl to work more efficiently with their online browsing/c
    • agreed.
      I just tested it out myself and nothing major or life changing in it.

      what it will be good for is getting firefox to the masses of people who ARE NOT computer geeks and know all about which plugins are what and how to go about installing these things.

      Users in the end want simplicity. An analogy would be that I would consider this browser like a holiday package.
      Sure you can go out and buy a plane ticket, sort out the best value hotel, fix up transfers etc etc but for the 90% of the people who simply wa
  • by telstar ( 236404 ) on Thursday October 20, 2005 @10:02PM (#13841848)
    From installation to uninstallation in 10 minutes...
    Yeah, I've already got a browser that works for me. Thanks anyway flockers...
  • I might be on speed; I'm not sure. But this thing seems to render pretty damned fast in OS X. Faster than Firefox. Faster than Safari (what isn't?)
  • As if... (Score:2, Funny)

    by DrIdiot ( 816113 )
    As if we really needed more bloggers in the world...
  • Flock'd! (Score:3, Funny)

    by CyricZ ( 887944 ) on Thursday October 20, 2005 @10:47PM (#13842042)
    I totally just came up with a new word that emo teen freaks can use: flock'd! It's when your blog is innundated with hits from other Flock-using emo punks because your woe-is-me blog just hit 3rd place on the Flock Top Ten Blogs list.

    That, or when you're playing football and you get cleats square in your gonads. You're flock'd then, too.

  • My thoughts (Score:5, Informative)

    by Chrax ( 782154 ) on Thursday October 20, 2005 @11:06PM (#13842126)
    I got a copy of Flock, so here are my thoughts.

    What I like:

    The default theme is much prettier than any Firefox theme I've seen. Not a big deal, but it is nice to not have to search through a ton of themes to get one that's aesthetically pleasing.

    At the right side of the bookmark toolbar is a drop down menu, where you select don't make me weak at the kneesthe folder to view, and that folder's contents show up in the bar. Sure not one of the great innovations of our time, but I love it. Already I use it more than I ever used the bookmark menu. I would be delighted if Mozilla merged this into Firefox.

    Another thing that Firefox has been missing is searchbar history. It's one of those small things that can really make the difference in your user experience.

    They also have the option to bring back the find as you type bit, and I've only had one instance where it tries to start searching when I'm typing in a textbox.

    Things that I'm neutral towards or dislike:

    I'm not a big blogger or del.icio.us user, so those features don't excite me overmuch.

    That said, the built-in interface to Blogger simply doesn't work. You try to open an old post and supposedly all the text in it is "2005".

    When playing with the blogging applet, at times I would get CPU usage of ~98%.

    Beyond the bookmark toolbar, the rest of the favorites interface is cluttered and stuff that I would never use.

    The CSS implementation is a bit sketchy (though still better than IE, in my opinion).

    But hey, they gave fair warning that there are some major bugs. Hopefully most of these will be fixed up by 1.0.
    • I got Flock. I made a delicious account aas it said to. I set up that account in Flock.

      Now I have no idea how to make Flock show me the tags delicious users are putting on pages.

      None of the getting started with Flock pages help me. I don't seem to be made aware anywhere that any major website has tags I can see.
  • The much-hyped Flock, a new browser
    Yup, much hyped....and nothing to it but hype. And everyone has been saying so since well before the actual release. Basically....nobody gives a flock.
  • by Visceral Monkey ( 583103 ) on Thursday October 20, 2005 @11:14PM (#13842157)
    There are some good ideas here, especially the delicious intergration, "clip board" thingie and blog intergration.

    And all of it could be done in FF extensions in just a few weeks (and hopefully will).

    The rest of it is just a huge mess of poo with a few good ideas plopped into it. I think everyone should try it out, see what they did right and what they did wrong, and write some FF extensions for the rest of us to use. I can't beleive they got VC money for this, sorry guys. PS- I love the ability to switch collections on the toolbar, but can't figure out for the life of me why I cant open multiple tabs by middle clicking.
  • I have a del.icio.us account, which I use so I can see my bookmarks on each of the four boxen (work, laptop, games, web) I work with. I _need_ my bookmarks; my memory is shite and I'm programming 10 different things every week so I need an easy way to access my knowlegdebase. Before that I was moving around a huge bookmarks toolbar folder from fox to fox, which sucked. I also run dual/triple boot on pretty each machine, so suddenly that's 10 installs I have to sync bookmarks to. So del.icio.us rocks, right?
  • Flock had me skeptical from the screenshots (ugly and useless), but having actually used it, it's pretty gosh darn neat. The Shelf is an incredible killer feature. I've tried out a few similar extensions for Firefox, but none did it as smoothly and intuitively as Flock has. All it needs is a few hardcore snippet-management-tools, and it'll be my new favorite research program.

    Likewise, the blog editor falls under the "pretty neat" status. The formatting gets eaten by Wordpress.com's post-parser (to filter

  • I predict that within a month, someone will hack out an extension or extensions for Firefox that do what Flock does. Then, it will be obviated.
  • This is ridiculous (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Chrax ( 782154 ) on Thursday October 20, 2005 @11:32PM (#13842233)
    Fucking christ. Most of the posts are just smug tech elitists whining about how it caters to "emo teens" or saying something like "Just what we need, more bloggers". The web is fucking huge, and I'd be surprised if there are twenty Slashdotters that haven't developed excellent crapflood filters by now. You don't read the Xangas and LiveJournals and Bloggers, so why are you complaining?

    Someone went and turned a browser from a window through which you can view the web to an application where you interact with parts of it (among the most popular parts these days) more intuitively. And you look beyond how neat that is because you want to look down your noses at the emo teens. Fucking class act.
  • by bartdecrem ( 193647 ) on Thursday October 20, 2005 @11:50PM (#13842293)
    for those of you asking what the hype is all about. here's what we've got so far that's different in Flock:

    1. replaces old-school bookmarks with one-click social bookmarking to Del.icio.us
    2. tagging is there if you want to do two-click bookmarking and tag
    3. a new bookmarks manager with an integrated rss reader
    4. built in search engine that indexes every page you visit and has a Spotlight-style as-you-type UI
    5. keeps a list of the sites you visit most frequently
    6. multiple bookmarks toolbar (one for work, one for play etc.)
    7. finds feeds, lets you view them
    8. caches the feeds so you can read them on the train
    9. aggregated RSS view for all of your bookmarks folders
    10. integrated blog editor (support wordpress, movable type, blogger)
    11. one click 'blog this' feature (it does the blockquotes, citations and all that stuff for you)
    12. Flickr integration (drag and drop pix into blogs)
    13. shelf: a web scrapbook that helps you organizae stuff you want to blog

    and of course it's open source and cross platform.

    details at http://www.flock.com/fiveways/togetstarted/13.php [flock.com]
  • In Soviet Russia, Browser Socialises You!
  • by TintinX ( 569362 ) on Friday October 21, 2005 @12:22AM (#13842394) Homepage

    One of the biggest traps I have ever seen a geeky developer (and I use the term endearingly) fall into is that the whole world is going to love your product as much as you do.

    It just doesn't happen that way unfortunately.

    Firefox is probably close to market saturation because anyone who actually cares about their computer and likes to tinker with extension and RSS feeds is using it, but everyone else *just isn't concerned* and it totally passes them by.

    Flock is just several orders of magnitude higher up the 'niche' market than that. By reading /. and similar boards all day, it may seem that the world is occupied by similarly minded geeks, but the sad truth is that it isn't.

    The vast, vast, VAST majority of people are happy to buy a computer, turn it on and then double-click the icon on the desktop that mentions 'internet' and that is all they will ever do.

    Saying that, I probably assume that the Flock developers don't realise that. Maybe they do and yet they still wish to develop a niche product. If that's the case then all power to them!

  • ...for the last few minutes.

    Is it just me, or is this thing noticeably faster than Firefox 1.0.7? Can anyone comment on how the speed compares to FF 1.5 beta?
  • Outfoxed (Score:3, Interesting)

    by archeopterix ( 594938 ) * on Friday October 21, 2005 @02:20AM (#13842700) Journal
    There is already a social bookmarking/site rating system for Firefox. It is called Outfoxed [getoutfoxed.com]. Definitely worth a try.
  • by superultra ( 670002 ) on Friday October 21, 2005 @10:41AM (#13844878) Homepage
    One of defining features of each "web 2.0" application has been that it has done a good job of hype, either by creating "invites" (gmail) or merely letting the web equivalent of word of mouth spread use around (del.icio.us).

    I've been following Flock ever since the site launched. I read preview after preview from web 2.0 people who claimed Flock would be God's gift to the modern age, better than parasols or flying airships or rockets to the moon. So, of course, I downloaded it with great haste yesterday only to discover . . .
    . . . that it is little more than an AJAX-esque skin for Firefox with some "fancy" extensions, fancy meaning slow and unworkable. Marshall McLuhan, media genius and internet saint, said that hot media burns fast and clear, shining for only a moment and then gone. Well, friends, Flock is hot in the McLuhan sense. It was best experienced as an anticipation, not as something that has actually arrived. The reality is that Flock is flying lame.

    What the Flock people should have done is release it quietly to a few developers, let them test it under promise of silence, and then when they had something worth screaming about - screamed then, and only then. Instead, they screamed before they had anything, in the sense that they posted flickr screenshots, and whipped up the blogosphere in orgasmic anticipation.

    I felt cheated trying Flock, and vindicated when I uninstalled it. I've been very impressed with Web 2.0 so far, or whatever it is they're calling webpages on the internet that are well coded, but if Flock is the future I want out.

Hard work never killed anybody, but why take a chance? -- Charlie McCarthy

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