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Author Topic: Flock: Web2.0 and all that buzz  (Read 14426 times)

housetier

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Flock: Web2.0 and all that buzz
« on: August 07, 2006, 12:30:13 PM »
Basic Info

App NameFlock
App URLhttp://flock.com/
App Version Reviewed0.7.4.1
Supported OSesWindows, Mac OSX, Linux
Support Methodsforum, mailing list, irc
Cost, License PlanFlock is free
Upgrade Policyupgrades are free
Author Donation LinkDonate to housetier


Intro:

Flock is a webbrowser like Firefox, but it has some nifty extra features.
Flock is a free web browser that makes it easier than ever to share photos, stay up-to-date with news from your favorite sites, and search the Web.
It integrates nicely with flickr and photobucket, has support for many blog engines. There is more, but I have yet to discover everything.


Who is this app designed for:

It is for websurfers who want a nice integration with all the Web2.0 buzz. You can share your bookmarks, your photos and whatnot; all from within the browser. You can manage your flickr and photobucket photos with flock, you can post to your favorite blog with flock.

Maybe you can even annotate websites and share these notes with your friends (who would need to use flock as well).

It's for all the taggers out there ;-) I love tagging stuff, it just makes sense to me.


The Good

It works! I hasn't crashed on me yet. You can do a lot of things via drag and drop, which comes "natural" to me. When you need to sign up for services (del.icio.us or photobucket for example) you can do that from within the settings dialog and flock will know once you have successfully signed up. That way, your workflow is not interrupted.

All the new buzz is easily accessiable from the navigation bar: flock-buttons.pngFlock: Web2.0 and all that buzz
From left to right we have Forward/Backward, Reload, Create Blog Post, Photobar, Read Newsfeeds, Bookmark&Tag current page


The needs improvement section

On the screenshots you will notice that you can barely read some of the buttons or tabs. This is because my system theme uses light grey as textcolor and flock then sets its own background color but uses the system text color. This issue is being addressed and I hope it will be resolved soon.

When assigning categories/tags to a blog post (see below), you can only select from existing categories. The second field lets you input arbitrary tags, but these will be included in the post as technorati tags. When I use the web interface of my site to blog, I can choose any tag I want, existing or not (I think this is called freetagging); so this is where the blog thing of flock lacks a feature I really would like to have.

Why I think you should use this product

Flock makes it easy to blog about stuff you find.
  • On the website you want to blog about, select a piece of text that you want to quote:
    blog-step1_browse_select.pngFlock: Web2.0 and all that buzz

  • Right-click on the selection and choose "blog this" or whatever flock displays in your locale:
    blog-step2_right_click.pngFlock: Web2.0 and all that buzz

  • Here you see me editing the source because I want to use textile input format rather than plain ol' HTML. Note how flock correctly encodes "&" in an URL with "&":
    blog-step3_write.pngFlock: Web2.0 and all that buzz

  • Before publishing the post, flock lets you select categories or tags for your post:
    blog-step4_assign_tags.pngFlock: Web2.0 and all that buzz

  • After publishing, you can read your newly created blog post. Note that all selected categories/tags have been applied:
    blog-step5_read.pngFlock: Web2.0 and all that buzz


Flock also makes it easy to upload images, at leat to two of the popular free image hosting services.
  • Click on the photobar button:
    photo-step1_photobar_button.pngFlock: Web2.0 and all that buzz

  • Collect your images by drag&dropping them into the droparea of that dialog window. You can drag many pictures at the same time. Also you can crop each image, as can be seen here:
    photo-step2_collect_tag.pngFlock: Web2.0 and all that buzz

  • Uploading to an album (can be created on-the-fly) is easy:
    photo-step3_upload.pngFlock: Web2.0 and all that buzz

  • Once all the images have been uploaded to the chosen image hosting service, the photobar is updated again:
    photo-step4_photobar_updated.pngFlock: Web2.0 and all that buzz


Flock also has the best integrated RSS-feed reader I have seen so far.
  • This is how my list of feeds looks, quite similar to what I am used to from liferea:
    flock-newsfeeds-2.pngFlock: Web2.0 and all that buzz

  • Over here we have a preview of a news item, complete with image:
    flock-newsfeeds-preview.pngFlock: Web2.0 and all that buzz



How does it compare to similar apps

Browsing-wise it is almost identical to firefox. And as for the other features, well, I don't know any similar application.


Conclusions

This gave you a short and bumpy introduction into flock and how I use it. I will continue to use flock, because the most important firefox extension works with flock.

There is still more to explore in flock. I will try to update this when I have discovered post-worthy things. I am now on the third day into my flock quest, and I still love flock! This tells you they must have done something right; otherwise I wouldn't use it for more than a few hours.

Please ask questions! I will try my best to answer them.


Updates and Howtos

« Last Edit: August 31, 2006, 02:18:42 PM by housetier »

mouser

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Re: Flock: Web2.0 and all that buzz
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2006, 08:20:02 AM »
Fantastic  :Thmbsup:

housetier

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flock: how to add feeds
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2006, 11:15:30 AM »
As mentioned above, I like how they integrated the feed reader into flock. So here I will explain how to add a feed to the inegrated feed reader, in 6 steps.

  • Step 0: Browse a site:
    flock-0_browse-site.pngFlock: Web2.0 and all that buzz
  • Step 1: Discover the feed:
    flock-1_discover-feed.png
  • Step 2: Click the icon, then the "popup" to add the feed:
    flock-2_add-feed.png
  • Step 3: Preview the feed:
    flock-3_preview-feed.pngFlock: Web2.0 and all that buzz
  • Step 4: Drag and Drop the feed to your feedlist:
    flock-4_dragndrop-feed.png
  • Step 5: Read the feed:
    flock-5_read-feed.pngFlock: Web2.0 and all that buzz
« Last Edit: August 09, 2006, 05:21:45 PM by housetier »

Josh

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Re: Flock: Web2.0 and all that buzz
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2006, 03:18:49 PM »
Great mini-review house! Always wondered what flock was, but never had time to check it out! Thanks for the preview.

nudone

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Re: Flock: Web2.0 and all that buzz
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2006, 04:09:37 PM »
great review.

i don't think flock is for me but it's good to have a review to help try and persuade otherwise.

KenR

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Re: Flock: Web2.0 and all that buzz
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2006, 04:38:48 PM »
Will it work with RoboForm?
Kenneth P. Reeder, Ph.D.
Clinical Psychologist
Jacksonville, North Carolina  28546

housetier

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Re: Flock: Web2.0 and all that buzz
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2006, 04:45:11 PM »

JavaJones

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Re: Flock: Web2.0 and all that buzz
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2006, 11:59:45 PM »
Interesting stuff. I've often contemplated starting a blog. If I ever did I might be more inclined to use this. Otherwise it's not so compelling, but it seems like a great product for lots of other folks.

- Oshyan

housetier

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Re: Flock: Web2.0 and all that buzz
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2006, 03:53:53 PM »
The flock guys have also put up a tour. Or, if you are interested in particular features without going through the flash-powered tour:

Search:http://flock.com/tour/search
RSS:http://flock.com/tour/news
Blogging:http://flock.com/tour/blogging
Bookmarks:http://flock.com/tour/favorites

That photo stuff is explained with flash.

mouser

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Re: Flock: Web2.0 and all that buzz
« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2006, 01:10:24 PM »
mp3 interview with flock developer at readwriteweb.com:

"Future of Browsers: Interview with Flock's Geoffrey Arone"
http://www.readwrite...f_browsers_flock.php

housetier

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Re: Flock: Web2.0 and all that buzz
« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2006, 02:07:21 PM »
(yes I know opera can do this too, no need to repeat it; we are talking about how great flock is though)

And this is how I search in flock

  • First, I go to a website that offers search capabilities:
    search_1.pngFlock: Web2.0 and all that buzz

  • Then, I right-click into the search field and select "Add a keyword for this Search":
    search_2.pngFlock: Web2.0 and all that buzz

  • Now I have to fill in the name of the bookmark and the keyword of course:
    search_3.pngFlock: Web2.0 and all that buzz

That's basically it! You can now search using "dc" as keyword.  :D

I will show you an example below.

  • Into the location bar I type the keyword followed by the search terms:
    search_4.pngFlock: Web2.0 and all that buzz

  • After pressing enter, I see the results:
    search_5.pngFlock: Web2.0 and all that buzz

I find this extremely useful and already have added a dozen or so "search engines" this way.  :Thmbsup:
 
« Last Edit: August 11, 2006, 02:56:26 PM by housetier »

mouser

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Re: Flock: Web2.0 and all that buzz
« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2006, 02:11:43 PM »
that's pretty sweet.

TucknDar

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Re: Flock: Web2.0 and all that buzz
« Reply #12 on: August 11, 2006, 04:24:25 PM »
[edit]It's a great feature, indeed![/edit]  :-[
« Last Edit: August 11, 2006, 04:33:53 PM by TucknDar »

VSiAQ

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Re: Flock: Web2.0 and all that buzz
« Reply #13 on: August 11, 2006, 10:03:57 PM »
(yes I know opera can do this too, no need to repeat it; we are talking about how great flock is though)


Just a small question, housetier, does it work with Firefox? I'm using Flock at the moment, by I wonder if Firefox is the same as it.  :tellme:

housetier

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EZ-search with firefox
« Reply #14 on: August 12, 2006, 03:37:43 AM »
VSiAQ, it works in a similar way. In FF you can assing keywords to your bookmarks. If the bookmarked url contains "%s", firefox will replace it whatever you type on the location bar.

bookmark urlhttp://example.com/search?q=%s
keywordex

if you then typed "ex foo bar" into the location bar and pressed enter, firefox will request "http://example.com/search?q=foo+bar"

VSiAQ

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Re: Flock: Web2.0 and all that buzz
« Reply #15 on: August 12, 2006, 07:30:06 AM »
Got it. Thank you very much, housetier.   :-*

sri

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Re: Flock: Web2.0 and all that buzz
« Reply #16 on: October 22, 2007, 05:05:54 AM »
Is anyone using the latest version, 1.0 beta?

My main menu bar has disappeared (File, Edit, View..).

Posting in Flock's official forum didn't help (either they ignore those seeking help or apparently are clueless themselves).

Any ideas?
<a href="https://sridharkatakam.com">My blog</a>