Last year I eagerly downloaded Flock and was disappointed. I thought it was pretty horrible. Today, I got a bit of blogfodder (read, that e-mail that teeters between something you wanted and spam) and said, 'Okay, I'll give Flock another try.'
Why? Because I want to believe. I want Flock to be an orgasmic browsing experience.
And it's getting there. Not quite there, but getting there.
Flock wants to be the social browser. It's sorta the social browser. But it's v0.7. I will applaud its improvement.
In Firefox I use Performancing for my blogging and I like it alot. It has some bugs that drive me pretty crazy, but I've really liked using it.
In the early Flock, the blogging editor was crap. But in v0.7, it's a lot ... lot ... nicer.
Self-referentially, it looks like this:
As you can see, it's very clean. The photo implementation is really nicely done. I always thought it was a pain to introduce Flickr or other photos into my blog. I always just uploaded them to TypePad. This was a slow and cumbersome process.
In Flock, I simply drag and drop or cut and paste the photo and this nifty editor comes up:
This tosses the screenshot right up on Flickr with a description and tags.
It also has a spellcheck with Performancing lacks.
Other copy and paste features are very similar to Performancing.
The annoyances here:
1. No blockquote in the GUI. Good bloggers use blockquotes in almost every post to clearly distinguish their text from quoted text. The Paragraph indent does not cut it.
2. When uploading a picture, you can't resize the blogged image. You can set a size for the overall image that goes up to Flickr and that size is reflected in the blog post ... but I like the TypePad feature that lets me build a user-defined-sized thumbnail. I use that feature every day for the little pictures I have at the top of each post. I don't think I can live without that - no matter how much I like this version of Flock
3. A social browser should allow tracking of social interactions. For example, I would love Flock, as the social browser, to be able to - in a blogging context - let me know when my own network has tagged things that are relevant to my blog post. Right now tagging happens at the end of the post. Imagine if I instead tagged at the begging.
I'm about to blog and I type in "Megalomania, Coke can, Sprint PCS, and Dynamo Label Writer" - Flock then watches while I'm typing and would say at some point "Hey, Laurel Papworth just blogged about Sprint PCS buying Coca-Cola." Then, before I was done, I'd get the RSS feed for that, read it, and incorporate it into my post.
In other words, I want an app to mine my network for me.
So that's it. I think this is a great advance. I'm still impressed with the Flock guys. But ... no blockquote .. as stupid as it sounds ... may be a deterrent. FWIW, the easy workaround would be to click the sourcetab and type <blockquote> and </blockquote>. I might do that.
Oh, I just tried the spellcheck. Nice thing - it's on my machine so I don't have the issues I have with TypePad -- I can tell Flock to add something to my dictionary. But, for the love of god, the dictionary didn't know "blog" was a word!
Blogged with Flock