One flocking cool web browser

11 May, 2008 at 11:18 am 2 comments

I’ve got two questions and good news for you.

Which sites do you visit every time you’re online?
If it’s your blog, e-mail, Facebook and/or RSS Reader, then it’s safe to assume that you are a social media enthusiast.

What web browser do you use?
I’m guessing Internet Explorer, Firefox or Opera. They’re all fine for surfing the net… but we social media fans don’t just surf. We facebook, we bookmark, we chat, we upload pics, watch videos and blog. And we often do this all at once, so it’s about time that a more integrative, social media-friendly browser comes along.

Well, it has. Flock is here, and it delivers.

The latest version of this open-source social web browser that’s based on Mozilla Firefox comes with many built-in and customisable social media tools. Here are some of them:

Social Networks
Flock has a People’s Sidebar that keeps track of all your Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and YouTube contacts. This means you don’t need to keep visiting the Facebook site after you’ve logged on to it – Flock keeps track of your friends’ status updates, allows for instant messaging, and lets you check if you’ve got new messages, or if your friends have posted new pics or content. If you use Twitter, you can instantly interact with your Twitter friends, post a Twitter, and check your friends’ updates, all from Flock’s sidebar.

E-mail Services
Flock has integrated Gmail and Yahoo! mail in its browser. It automatically checks your email for new messages and lets you send e-mail directly from Flock, without you having to be on the Gmail or Yahoo! site.

Blogging Clients
The browser comes with a built in blog editor that allows you to post and publish text or images directly to your blog (as I’m doing right now). This service supports Blogger, WordPress, LiveJournal, Blogsome, Xanga and TypePad blogging platforms.

RSS Feeds
With Flock’s built-in Feed Reader, you can track, organise and read the latest content from the sites you subscribe to. The browser also automatically detects RSS feeds on every site that you visit, and has a handy RSS button on the toolbar that glows orange every time a feed is detected. You can then click on the button to subscribe to the feed of your choice. Easy as pie.

Bookmarking
You can instantly bookmark a site by clicking on the blue star button on the navigation toolbar. If you click on it twice, you can add tags to your bookmarks and organise them however you wish. Flock also lets you search among your bookmarks and your web history.

The browser conveniently supports online bookmarking with del.icio.us and ma.gnolia. You can bookmark sites to Flock and your del.iciou.us or ma.gnolia account simultaneously.

Media Bar
Flock’s Media Bar lets you do amazing things. Firstly, you can search for YouTube videos or Flickr photos using the Media Bar Search Tool. Again, no need to visit the actual site! If you come across content that you like, you can instantly bookmark it to your Media Stream. Secondly, once you’ve activated your online video or photo account in Flock, you can view your own public photos/videos in the photostream on the Media Bar. Thirdly, you can share, e-mail or blog any image in your Media Stream simply by clicking on the white arrow on each thumbnail. Alternatively, Flock lets you drag and drop a pic from your own or any Media Stream directly into your e-mail message or your message to a Facebook friend. No more searching your computer for the right photo to upload; no need to go to the YouTube website to search for stand up comedy. You can do all this directly from Flock.

Verdict
I’ve been using Flock for a few weeks now, and can’t stop raving about it. It’s definitely enhanced my browsing experience since I can surf the net, Facebook, read my e-mail and blog from one convenient space. That’s what I call a unified social media experience.

However, more serious web users may think of it as an overdose. If you’re surfing the Net for a term essay or a work assignment, it’s probably more productive to use the conventional browsers because Flock can be quite distracting.

In every other context though, it’s the ultimate browser for social media fans.

Download it now, and say goodbye to boring browsing.

Blogged with the Flock Browser

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. kelescheppers  |  18 May, 2008 at 1:03 am

    It sounds amazing! Talk about a time-saver. But what happens if you have multiple users on the same computer?

  • 2. bloggingsocialmedia  |  19 May, 2008 at 7:12 am

    @kele: you have the option to log in and out of your accounts after you’re done browsing. this makes it easy for other users to then log in to their email/blog/facebook account etc when they’re using Flock.

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