I have been using Firefox as my web browser for years now. It is fast, has a lot of extensions and it just seems to fit my needs. Basically, I was not in the market for a new web browser when I came across Flock.
Flock is billed as the web browser for the social media power user. While it is that, Flock’s other side is that it is a pretty powerful media aggregator as well.
For Social Butterflies
It allows you to keep track of your presence and your friends’ presences on all the different social media sites that you are on in a convenient sidebar. But I must say Flock is a better fit for Facebook users. There is a little blue thought bubble in the lower right hand corner of the Flock browser that lets you share whatever page you are on with your Facebook friends.
Additionally, when you are posting a comment on another social site in that convenient social media sidebar you have the option of simultaneously posting to Facebook and Facebook alone. So, as long as you do most of your social media activities on Facebook then this browser will work out fine for you. If you are more of a Twitter person then it will take a little extra effort.
But not that much extra effort. Like I was saying before, Flock lets you manage all of your social media presences in a single sidebar. You can make the sidebar stream so that you will see all of your friends’ activity across all of the social media platforms you are on or make it so that just your friends on Facebook are in the stream. If you are a little more daring, you can even put your friends on any of the platforms into their own group.
Say you have business friends on Facebook, MySpace and Twitter and you want to make it so that you see what they are doing. With Flock you can put all of these friends together in their own group, so it no longer matters that Friend A is on Facebook and Friend B is on Twitter, you can track them both at the same time.
And respond to them. And upload pictures. And post to your blog. Really, you can do almost anything you can think of through the Flock browser. It is pretty cool but, if you are like me, you already have created workarounds on another browser, like Firefox, or with other services, like Tweet Deck.
For Media Consumers
Aggregating feeds can quickly become a pain for a number of reasons. Take me as an example. When I first started out using Google Reader I did what many of you probably did; add on as many feeds as I could. Suffice it to say, I ditched those feeds after a couple of weeks.
Then I started using other services like Digg and YouTube to find new stuff along with some sites like The Drudge Report for news. Fortunately, Flock makes aggregation fun again.
For example, right now I have a sidebar filled with all the different feeds I have, there is a bar along the top of the browser where I can keep track of media from Digg, YouTube and a number of other social media sites and I have The Drudge Report’s most recent headlines in the main area of the browser. Flock gives you the ability to save, blog, email and Digg items in your various feeds. Basically, Flock is a pretty good media aggregator.
My big problem with Flock and with a lot of the different social media efficiency tools is that they are almost too good at what they do. You end up seeing a lot of interesting stuff about topics you are curious about and, before you know it, it’s 3 a.m. and you didn’t get done what you were suppose to.
If you use social media applications to promote yourself or to just stay in contact with your friends then Flock might be a good idea for you; especially if your main social media site is Facebook. But be forewarned, there are more feature-rich options out there for individual social sites like Tweet Deck for Twitter. If you are one of those people who check your friends’ statuses occasionally then there are simpler options for you, so stay away from Flock.
Media consumers might get some value out of Flock because it is a pretty robust feed aggregator and discovery engine. But, again, unless you are a power user who is looking for an all-in-one social media browser there are better and simpler options out there.
Personally, I won’t be replacing Firefox anytime soon. Maybe I’ll break out Flock every once in a while and see if it can change my mind about it. If that happens, I’ll let you know. But you shouldn’t hold your breath waiting for me to announce my conversion to Flock.
Social Media Guru
The BirdDog Group