At OSCON 2005, I was lucky enough to get a demo of Flock, the new "social web browser" based on Firefox, from Chris Messina, Flock CSS and design guru, at their launch party.

I was blown away! Drag and drop blogging - drag text from a blog post and it automatically creates a cite tag with a link to the original post and the quoted text is indented using a blockquote tag. Drag and drop Flickr photos (I do this painfully every day for Urban Vancouver e.g. check out today's East 12th and Commercial photo). And Chris teased me with some more future features like having del.icio.us as your bookmarks (goodbye to useless local bookmarks).

Some random thoughts:

  • In one fell swoop :-), Flock threatens to render platform specific blog editor programs like BlogJet and Qumana obsolete. Why use a Windows only app that isn't open source and that evolves slowly when I can use an open source app that works cross platform on Mac, Windows and Linux?
  • This is the future. Cross platform apps that work on Windows and Mac and Linux without the slings and arrows of outrageous 'porting'. And I assume Flock will incorporate the Firefox updater system so upgrades will be painless.
  • Don't know what Flock's business model is! Ads? Acquisition? Doesn't matter, because no matter what happens to them, since the code is open source their innovation will live on! Rock on Flockers!

Disclaimers:

  • Flockers Chris Messina and Andy Smith are my friends.
  • I am friends with the Qumana team (and Qumana solves the Windows blogging pain today and is NOT in beta so if you must blog on Windows, I'd recommend Qumana until flock is in open beta) and have tried to push them in the direction of cross platform, so guys and gals just consider this another push :-)
  • I have not had the opportunity to use Flock, just got the Chris demo. So it probably has lots of bugs especially since it is only at version 0.2 (where is my beta code :-) ?)
  • I am not 100% sure it is Mac, Windows and Linux compatible. I just assume it is because it is based on Firefox which works on all 3 platforms. I'd be disappointed if it wasn't.