Flock Pre-Release Now Available

So Flock was unleashed to the masses a couple of days ago in the form of a pre-release of sorts. For the unfamiliar, Flock is built atop the popular Firefox browser engine. It adds a slew of new “Web 2.0” features to the typical set of browser features we’ve become accustomed to.  You can find out about it’s features here.

Flock is arguably the darling of the whole Web 2.0 trend. If I’m not mistaken, they’ve gotten $2MM in funding already and are creating a fair amount of buzz out there.

After installing it yesterday and playing around for a bit, the first impression I got was that this thing was just one big patch job of feature add-ons that have little to do with one another. It integrates with delicious and Flickr (sort of). It has a feed reader (sort of). It has a clipping tool where you can cut & paste images and text snippets. In the end, it felt more like an disparate collection of Firefox plug-ins stitched together along with a new chrome skin (which looks real cool actually). Stepping back a bit, what was this thing trying to achieve? After a couple of hours, I uninstalled it.

I think what’s even more interesting than the Flock product itself is all the noise around it. I’m just not seeing how all this stuff really amounts to much value for the rest of the world – i.e. beyond the community that is enraptured in all things 2.0 these days. Even more fascinating is the fact that Flock garnered serious venture money. I’m no business guy, but how exactly does this thing end up making money (other than a buyout)?

Generally speaking, I don’t get it. If someone can help me see the light here, I’m all ears.

1 Comment Flock Pre-Release Now Available

  1. Rachel

    Yeah, I don’t get it either – unless it’s meant as a product trying to convince people of Web 2.0 or something – proof of concept browser product? It’s like it’s there just begging to be bought out, which I’m always a little suspicious of – the fact that we can see developer photos on there but no screen shots is also a little suspect. I hate to be a cynic about such things, but really, someone’s got to be…
    I was a little hesitant to install a pre-release, but reading your entry I bit the bullet and installed it. It lasted about 3 minutes on my iBook, because I immediately got rid of it. In a world without Firefox (or even Safari) it would seem like a revolution; now it’s just, well, ‘pretty’. Since when does pretty equal function and user experience? The revolution came with del.icio.us, not with a plugin to manage it.
    The 2.0 hype is now in overdrive because it’s now impeded any sort of critical analysis about it – it’s all about the widgets and the yellow fades now. It’s UI as toy – pay around with the ‘patch job of feature add-ons’ (nice turn of phrase). Again, it’s a product created without a need, when there are so many other things worth addressing, you know? There’s no light to see here – it’s a brilliant flash of light in the sky. Fireworks (the nightime ones, not the application) are beautiful but how memorable are they, really?
    It’s a shame you don’t live out here on the West Coast – there are some sacred cows that need to be brought down to earth. Your blog should be required reading for anyone buying any of this hyype.
    – Rachel


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