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Sneak Peek: Flock, a new kind of browser

David Chartier

There's been quite a bit of buzz floating around about a new browser coming to the party by the name of Flock. For a while now, their site has stated their browser is going to change the way we work with the web, and from playing around with the developer preview they released yesterday, I don't think they were kidding.

Flock is actually built on the Firefox core, but aside from a familiar menu structure I think the similarities end there. Exhibiting their mantra of building a better tool for the web, Flock has social bookmarking, blogging and even Flickr tools built right in. The first time you star (bookmark) a site, Flock asks if you’d like to enter your account information, in which case it will integrate with your bookmarks for any sites you star and tag from here on out. A great idea that, in my opinion, just about every browser should’ve done the day debuted. Keep reading after the bump, as this  browser has some more great tricks up its sleeve.

Next up is Flickr integration. Flock Flickr integration
Enabling a Flickr toolbar gives you the option of entering a Flickr user name to browse that user’s images, right from inside the browser, while still being able to surf. This toolbar is handy, and will become even more useful with one of Flock’s most appealing features: blogging.

Flock blog integration
Flock offers some powerful and appealing features for blogging. Right now Flock can post to Blogger and I believe *most* systems that use either the MetaWeblog, Moveable Type or Atom API’s. Setup is a breeze, and once you’re finished you can now right click just about anything in the browser and chose a “Blog This” option, which opens a post window. Images can be dragged and dropped into the post, and there’s even a great set of features to customize how the image is presented. A blog toolbar can be enabled which gives access and edit ability of all your previous posts, even those not written with Flock. What’s even better: in the blog post window you can turn on the Flickr toolbar, and any of the images you find in there are drag and droppable onto the blog post. Just like adding bookmarks to, you can also tag your posts. Very slick and easy to use.

A lot of the Firefox functionality like reading RSS feeds, themes and extensions are all present. While you can’t use actual Firefox extensions or themes, they have a small selection of their own. After poking around with most of Flock’s big features though, I have to say: I’m pretty excited, though I'll admit not everyone is as hip on a new browser as me. If you grab a copy keep in mind that it’s a developer preview right now, so it’s going to act funny at times and quite probably crash on you once or twice. But if you’re looking for a fresh new perspective on using and participating in the web, I highly suggest you go whet your apetite with Flock's offering.

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