I originally downloaded Flock a few months ago. I put it on my laptop and synced it to all of the 643 accounts we have. I thought it would be the perfect way to keep up with everything. That didn’t last long.

A couple of days ago, I “rediscovered” Flock on another website. This time I put it on my desktop, which has a lot more RAM and a lot more power. As I sat through the tutorial, I knew it was going to be pretty much amazing.

“It’s like Firefox on crack,” is how I described it the other day.

It’s so true. I love that Firefox saves your tabs and reboots the next day with all of the websites you had open when you quit. Flock does exactly the same thing. So, for the browser component it did exactly what I was missing in Safari.

The highlights for me are:

  • The “feeds” window on the left. It opens right in the browser with all the RSS feeds that you’ve subscribed to. What’s even better is that there is an icon at the top of the browser that lights up any time the page you’re visiting has an RSS feed. It’s that simple. One click and the feed is instantly added to your toolbar.
  • The other lefthand window is for the social networking sites: Facebook, Myspace, Twitter and Youtube. As long as you are signed in, the icon will light up any time there are changes in any of those accounts. I currently use the Facebook and Twitter components, and I appreciate not having to have the sites open constantly.
  • The browser also syncs with email accounts and has a similar icon when you have new mail. It’s fairly intuitive and definitely helps you out any time something happens for the first time.
  • There is also a media bar along the top that brings in Flickr and other photo site feeds. Once you have subscribed to a particular Flickr feed it will again light up and give you the opportunity to open a narrow bar along the top which holds thumbnails of all of the newest pictures in the subscribed stream.
  • It is also fully compatible with blogging sites and allows you to blog elements from sites instantly. It is completely functional with my WordPress account.

I have become somewhat of an internet addict (moreso than usual) with all of my free time lately. I think the one thing I’ve always lacked is a single program or website that would integrate everything I use into one simple place. Flock certainly comes close. With the ability to install toolbars designed for Firefox, I was able to add the “Digg” toolbar which makes sharing easy. It also supported “ShareThis”, which I am still figuring out!

I love that this is so streamlined and, honestly, that it is basically Firefox but so much better. My one warning is that this is only absolutely necessary if you spend a ton of time on your computer. Otherwise, I would thing the updates would be somewhat overwhelming.

My blog in the main window, my RSS feeds in the lefthand toolbar, and the Whitehouse Flickr feed along the top.

My blog in the main window, my RSS feeds in the lefthand toolbar, and the Whitehouse Flickr feed along the top.


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