And so this sleepy Friday has drawn me to Flock, a new spin on the web browser that tries to integrate your blog with your everyday web browsing – a sort of poor man’s web development suite.
To re-use a very tired line: “We’ve started to use the web to share information instead of just consuming it”. Well ho-fucking ray! People are finally working out what the web was supposed to be all about – the active exchange and dissemination of information rather than millions of people just staring aimlessly at pages and sites like zombies and downloading porn, without bothering to contribute any material, no matter how irrelevant, to the global web themselves.
Assuming this Flock browser ever gets beyond its very basic present developer preview stage, then there might be some serious take-up of it. You have the power of the respected Mozilla engine, combined with integration with online photo archive Flickr, blog directory Technorati and other similar services that enable the publishing and sharing of creative material and data.
Flock represents one of the first coherent attempts to write a web browser or similar application that brings together all the important elements of content publishing and distribution within the core program, as fully integrated features of the browser rather than as external bolt-ons and plug-ins.
This is another example of Web 2.0 – a bullshit term if ever there was one, but at least the underlying explanation of what this horrid buzzterm is meant to mean makes some sense.
Translated back into English, Web 2.0 refers to the perceived ongoing transition of the web from a collection of web sites to a full-fledged computing platform in its own right, serving up both content and applications to end users. Things like blogging are at the forefront of this shift.
Only time will tell whether Flock has any future, or any business even existing, but for now if you are curious to see how Mozilla would have looked if it had been developed by somebody else, wander over to flock.com.
And yes – I wrote this with and posted it from a Flock borwser!