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Flock.com The Next Great Shepherd?

Jason Lee Miller
Staff Writer
Published: 2005-09-15

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When former Mozilla developers start whispering about a new open-source browser, the gentle humming tremors of those whispers don't take long to crescendo. It's Thursday, and after a Wired.com article hit the Web, everybody has started talking about Flock.com.

Erin Bradley at Search Views said it best:

"Just when you thought you and Firefox were going to be a long-term thing, along comes a next-generation web browser that promises to combine all that's awesome about Web 2.0 with everything you love about the Firefox experience."

That's a bold statement, I thought. What's so great about it? If you visit Flock.com, they say it's "the world's most innovative social browsing experience," and they've nicknamed it the "two-way web." So what is this thing, some kind of walkie-talkie?

No, says Tech Crunch's Michael Arrington, who thinks screen shots are a good thing.

"Flock is a new browser, built on top of firefox. It is a functional browser with excellent features (including firefox features like tabbed browsing, etc.). What really makes is stand out are two additional features they've added to build social networking directly into the browsing experience: social bookmarking and a wysiwyg blog writing tool."

The Flock browser was developed by former Mozilla Foundation programmer Bart Decrem and seven others over the summer as they prepared for an October beta launch and a September invitation-only preview.

Decrem says that since the Wired.com article, another 1000 people were added to the invite list, 100 resumes arrived, and Flock appeared on Technorati's Top Searches list.

The Flock browser, not that I was invited to check it out or anything, is designed to be a sort of all-in-one Internet experience, addressing the growing list of separate services that allow people to share their online experience-and control it.

There are always skeptics, of course. Polish "traveling freelance software developer, " Marek Futrega thinks it's a bunch of hype.

"This flock thingy doesn't have a chance to fly in my opinion because it tries to be everything while practice shows that simple things win. You either do a social browser, a blogging tool or a social bookmarking service. Never everything in one," said Futrega.

Other than Marek, most everybody else seems excited about it.

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About the Author:
Jason L. Miller is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

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