Flock is a freely downloadable open-source browser that aims to get users around the Web quickly and integrates a number of Web services right into the software.
A new Web browser with a socially conscious streak was released for
public tryout Thursday night by a group of 15 young entrepreneurs
housed in a garage just off the Stanford University campus in Northern
Flock, as it is called, is a Mozilla Firefox-based, freely
downloadable open-source browser that aims to get users around the Web
quickly and efficiently, but integrates a number of Web services right
into the software.
Users can post a Weblog entry, build and share photo
collections, and share favorite Web sites (bookmarks are for books,
Flock says) with friends-all in one place.
That place is within the browser itself.
In short, Flock (this beta version
is called the "Flock 0.5pre Developer Snapshot") aggregates a number of
services usually delivered through a variety of separate Web sites and
presents them in ways that are intuitive for users.
Flock, distributed under the Mozilla
public licenses, is aimed mostly at bloggers.
Analysts estimate there are 10 million to 15 million
sophisticated Internet users writing Internet journals-the number is
growing daily-and Flock believes this is a prime target market.
For example, when a user discovers a Web site about which he or
she wants to post a comment in a blog, the user just right-clicks on
the mouse, which then brings up the Flock blogging wizard (Blog
The browser software then automatically opens a
blank blog entry and adds citations and links for the site that
originally caught the users attention.
Flock also has a built-in RSS integration option, so that
users can easily scan news headlines and click through to those pages
for more information.
Through a partnership with Vancouver, B.C.-based Flickr
, Flock offers the Flickr Topbar, which allow users to drag and drop pictures into a blog post.
Flock also a sort of scrapbook for interesting Web content called The Shelf.
Users can drag interesting URLs, pictures or text snippets from
any Web page onto it. From there, these items can be inserted into a
Next Page: An open-source search engine.