Posts Tagged 'Flock'

Testing Flock 2.0 Beta

I just downloaded and installed Flock 2.0 beta on my machine and am testing it out.  So far it looks pretty familiar.  I wish I had some performance benchmarks to compare against – maybe I’ll go find some tonight.

For the short term, Flock looks fairly closely related to Flock 1.x browsers.  There are incremental changes to look-and-feel widgets.

Sorry, Flock. FF3 Eats Your Lunch.

I’ve been using the Flock browser since last fall. I thought it was a neat idea to combine a bunch of social platforms into the browser experience. Even if they didn’t always pull it off (see here and here), it was (and remains) a worthy goal.

Now, however, Firefox has their Version 3 release candidate out, and I’m switching. Why? Speed. FF3 is so much faster than Flock, especially in AJAX operations, there’s no justification for sticking with Flock.

Add to that the comment I heard at the May STS meeting, that spam-worthy AdUUp had signed a search deal with Flock, and I’ve lost some of the love for what was once my main squeeze.

The door’s not shut completely, but it’s closing fast.

Vote for Flock at SXSW

From Dan Burkhart’s Flock blog:

This year, Flock has been selected as a finalist for web awards issued in the “Community” category of sites and services.

Check out all the finalists here. If you go to SXSW (Andrew, I’m looking in your direction), do a brother a favor and spread some voting goodness around over at the Flock yurt.  Oh wait, this isn’t Burning Man, it’s SXSW in Austin, where all the attendees get swanky hotel rooms with armadillo pillowcases and a barrel of oil to bathe in every day.

Anyway, vote for Flock!  It’s still my #1 browser, precisely for the community aspects, and these lovable nerds need the exposure they’ll get among the geekesquerie.  They can come back to, um, Palo Alto?  I don’t even know where they’re at — and put the trophy up on the wall and get back to bug bashes.

Good luck Flockstars!

Flocking Hell!

Flock is announcing new integration with MySpace, per an article by Scott Gilbertson at Wired Magazine.  ARGH!  Fix your existing problems first before you send your developers off to do additional integrations.  You’re about to lose me as a customer in favor of Firefox 3.

The Flock Twitter Client Needs Work

I’m new to Twitter. I resisted for a long time, but gave in recently and am actually very pleasantly surprised with how interested I am in the service, and probably more importantly, the paradigm.

Software developers (and I still count myself as one) tend to shun interruptions, for good reason:

The other trouble is that it’s so easy to get knocked out of the zone. Noise, phone calls, going out for lunch, having to drive 5 minutes to Starbucks for coffee, and interruptions by coworkers — ESPECIALLY interruptions by coworkers — all knock you out of the zone. If you take a 1 minute interruption by a coworker asking you a question, and this knocks out your concentration enough that it takes you half an hour to get productive again, your overall productivity is in serious trouble.

Developers also tend to be more introverted and socially isolated than your average bear.  Sometimes much more so; I’ve always been a tweener, able to talk to both technical and non-technical alike.  However, I’m no social butterfly by any means.  Yet strangely enough, I’ve really enjoyed my Twitter experience so far and can actually anticipate gains in inspiration offsetting any losses from getting out of the flow.

So far, I’ve experimented with:

  • Twitter via the website
  • Snitter
  • Twhirl
  • Flock

Of all of these, Flock appears the most broken. No way to post directly from the sidebar, bad line wrapping, no easy reply capability, no context-sensitive follow, etc. It’s another bummer about Flock, which I keep wanting to love, but which keeps falling just a bit short. Like I mentioned earlier, it would be great if they did a better job of publicizing their roadmap, and kept in better touch with the people who are raising issues. A lot of them would work with the Flock dev team to help suss out issues.

So I’m sticking with Twhirl for the time being, which is a nice-looking, feature-laden Adobe Air client for Windows.

Follow me at /anthonyrstevens

Flock wins Open Web Award

I have to admit I’m getting all these Web 2.0 awards mixed up with each other, what with the ease with which anyone can throw up a “community awards” page. There are the Crunchies, the Web 2.0 Awards, the Webware 100, hmm …. maybe that’s it. OK, not so bad after all!

Regardless, I was happy to see Flock win the “Judges Choice – Applications and Widgets” category at the Open Web Awards, sponsored by Mashable. I like Flock a lot, despite some of the flaws I’ve mentioned here.

Nice job!

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Flock 1.0.3: Ongoing Issues with WordPress Authentication

Flock 1.0.3 was released a couple days ago and auto-installed on both of my Vista machines without any problems (unlike this guy). However, this release doesn’t do much. As best as I can tell from the release notes page, the only fix was for a code signing issue with the Windows Installer. In the meantime, the forums are filled with bug reports and suggestions.

I like Flock so far. It’s a neat idea for a browser. However, my suggestion is for the Flock team to be a bit more proactive in summarizing existing issues, prioritizing them, and keeping the community aware of forward momentum. Otherwise they may lose their #1 asset they have right now, which is buzz and good word-of-mouth. My own issue #1 (WordPress login credentials not being saved properly) has been around for over five months. I can think of a few reasons why this bug might still be open:

  1. It’s not a priority. I find this hard to believe since (a) Flock makes a big point of “integrating” with blog, photo, and social-bookmarking sites; and (b) WP is one of the biggest blog platforms around.
  2. It’s very technically challenging to fix. I also find this one hard to swallow since it’s just credential sharing. This problem has been solved 1,000,000 times.
  3. The team is overloaded. This one is more probable.
  4. The architecture is poor. I have no idea if this is the case, but as a software manager, if easy problems start taking a long time to fix, I start to wonder what kind of messes my developers have to wade through.

Any ideas?