Ladies and gentlemen, Flock, the Mozilla-based open-source Web browser trying to make the social aspects of the Internet central, is finally useful. And oh, is it, useful. First introduced in the fall of 2005, the program, which integrates Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, del.icio.us and blogging software was for years a slower, more crashable alternative to Firefox. I never used it for more than about 10 minutes before. Suddenly, as of last week, it has vaulted over Firefox, Camino and Omniweb. It’s by far the best web browser for anyone with friends online that I have ever used. You should all download Flock 1.0 Public Beta at your nearest convenience. It even takes Firefox add-ons.
The marquee feature of the new version is the People Sidebar, a screen real estate gulping interface for a few key social media services. Essentially, once you register, you get a constant stream of new status and upload updates from all of your contacts of Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and Youtube. It just moves along. You can send messages, Poke people, send photos, or what have you, all without heading over to the hosting web page. The other key feature is the Media Bar, which allows subscriptions to the media streams from Flickr, Photobucket, Facebook or others. There’s drag and drop image, video and text support, as well as an incredible clipboard that goes far beyond the typical features to optimize for reuse.
Then, in addition to all of that, there’s a built-in blog editor that’s widely compatible and nearly as capable as ecto, my dedicated blog app of choice. Its only limitation right now is that it requires the use of one of its supported hosting services for images, not native image hosting.
Other than that, it’s revolutionizing the way I consume information and connect with the people around me. And it’s made blogging almost preposterously easy.
Thanks, Stuart — for showing the way!
Blogged with Flock