Flock, a Firefox-based browser with special features for bloggers, is now available in “Developer Preview” form. Because it’s based on Firefox, stability and performance are pretty well ironed out. The interesting stuff, in brief, is:
- bookmark/favorite storage via del.icio.us
- fulltext searching of all pages in your history
- integrated “blog this” tool (supporting the common APIs) that works not just with URLs but with text selections within pages
Those are the ones that struck me the most, but there’s more; read the intro pages that appear by default when you launch Flock.
I like it, but since 1) I’m not much of a del.icio.us user, and 2) my homebrew blog doesn’t (yet) support any of the standard APIs, I don’t feel compelled. Also, the engine is Firefox, which may be the best thing going on Windows and Linux, but on the Mac lags Safari and Camino in terms of visual polish and “nativeness.”
Anyway, the Flock crew is clearly having a lot of fun and they are doing something very interesting. It was bold to do this by forking a new client instead of just trying to do it all via Firefox extensions, but I think it was the right decision. People who don’t actually try it will say things like “blah blah, what’s so new about this, I already do that in my browser using blah blah blah.”
I think that a dedicated fanbase is going to emerge quickly. Because of the nature of Flock, these people will be very active web users who blog and share photos and post their bookmarks to del.icio.us, and that means it’s going to gain visibility very quickly. I’m sure those clever Flockers realize this. So what happens after that?