nicthegeek is back to trying out Flock. I first started trying out Flock in 2006, attracted by yet another browser with Mozilla/Firefox capabilities. What was better, was that Flock was partnered with Photobucket, at that time my favourite online photo album. It made uploading photos, well…brainless. It was all drag and drop. Blogging with lots of photos was made that much easier, consisting of typing, dragging and dropping.
But then, it all became a drag when Flock became more and more bloated, and took forever to open, both on the PC and on my iBook G4. I then turned back to Firefox, which was then in its 2.x incarnation. But then, I’ve kept an eye on Flock and the comings and goings.
Given that Flock 2.0 went official a month ago, I couldn’t pass up the chance of using it again, especially when it’s based on Firefox 3.0. I don’t give myself much choice in terms of browsers, having stuck with Firefox for the past few years, only grudgingly going back to IE when certain sites don’t work or need testing.
What has always attracted me to Flock has been the support for various social networking and Web 2.0 sites: Photobucket, Flickr, Facebook, WordPress, Digg…open up the Accounts and Services sidebar (pictured) to find more. It lets you do so many things without having to go to the site, login, and do
whatever you want to
do. Update your Facebook status, check your friends’ status, upload photos, check emails, chec your RSS feeds, so on, so forth. Saw some text or graphics you’d like to blog about? Just drag and drop it into Flock’s web clipboard, and drag and drop it into your blog post. Upload your photos to Facebook, Flickr or
Photobucket? Open up the photo uploader. All that and more is just so much easier, without having to flick through several open windows.
Flock is also the first browser to have Media RSS, meaning you can subscribe to media feeds (photos, videos, etc) via your Flock browser. The media bar can also be opened and closed as you fancy. Appearing just above your tabs, you can view your own media streams from Flickr
or Facebook, or search for streams or whatever happens to be on your mind at the time.
– easy access to any of your accounts or Flock’s partnered services via the handy little bar on the left-hand side.
– view uploaded photos or videos, or search for other media streams via the Media Bar just above your browsing space.
Of course, I could also say that all this and more can also be done with Firefox 3.0, with just a few additions of well-made extensions. But isn’t it so much better, if you didn’t have to worry about trawling for the extensions, loading them, testing them and sorting through the good, the bad and the ugly. AND, most Firefox extensions can also be used by Flock…HA!
Having said all that, Flock is not the browser to use, if you’re looking for a lean and mean browsing machine. Google Chrome, another nicthegeek favourite, would be more for you.
Flock is also not without any faults. Most Firefox users would find it easy enough to use, although the gamut of partnered services means having to dig deeper into the various menus and toolbars. It will take a little bit of time before you’re used to the various buttons and sidebars that appear out of nowhere, and are everywhere.
But, trust me, if you’re into social networking and are signed up to too many sites to keep track of, Flock might be one of your trusty solutions.