Experiments in Social Networking: Flock

Edit: This post was unfortunately delayed as I wanted to adjust it for the latest version of flock, which is based on Firefox 3 instead of Firefox 2.

I tried flock today, and was pretty impressed with it. I think it has some things that could be improved, but overall, its a very strong product for a large subset of users.

For the uninitiated, Flock is a “social” web browser. Now that I read it. “social web browser” seems like some ridiculously buzz-word laden term, trying to trick some VC into parting with a large pile of money. But it accurately conveys what Flock is (and as an open source project, I don’t think they are trying to con anybody).

Flock is basically a Mozilla based browser (like firefox) with a great deal of social network, and media integration. They do their best to integrate with all of the Web 2.0 heavy hitters: Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, Twitter, Picasa, Piczo, Digg, Pownce, Blogger, WordPress, Delicious, Magnolia, and several more. Its honestly an impressive list of sites. And the Flock development team is constantly working to integrate new sites. For example, their latest beta, of version 1.2 was released just his Monday, and added support for Digg, Pownce and AOL Mail. Of course, if you reread that statement, you will see where the shortcoming for Flock is as well. These social networks are being added on by the core development team. I have not gone over the source code, nor read any developer documentation in depth, so I might be griping about lack of a feature that already exists…but I feel that all of these social networks should be integrated with a sort of plug-in architecture. For instance, I would like to see StumbleUpon integrated with Flock, or perhaps Plaxo, or Reddit, or whatever cool social media hits the scene tomorrow. I realize all of these sites can be supported through extensions and bookmarklets, but wasn’t that the point of Flock?, I mean if I need to install special plugins (outside where all the rest of my social media is) why would I use a different browser?

Enough ranting.

definitely the Media Bar that allows you to search flickr and the sidebar with all of your accounts is a definite bonus along with the ability to post the pages you browse to your various social networking accounts.  At the moment, the target of flock is the hardcore social networker that does social networking for its own sake.  I would say someone who uses social networks to help generate “buzz” around a products, service, site, whatever is still best served by a combination of firefox plugins and bookmarklets.


A great post by Scott H Young

Scott keeps a great blog at www.scottyoung.com, with a lot of excellent observations and advice.  In today’s post he writes about the concept that if you want to develop a new habit, you should commit yourself to mindfully living that habit for 30 days.  After 30 days, you can evaluate if that habit works for you or not.  Its an awesome post about how you can change your life one step at a time.

Scott H Young » One Month Isn’t That Long…

Mental Organization

Unclutterer poses a very simple hypothesis:

If you understand the way you tend to process information, you can better select tools, practices and habits that work with your nature rather than against it.

Thats tough to argue with, so intrigued, I read on. The first post in a two part article gives you a series of clues to help you identify if you are a visual, auditory, or kinesthetic / tactile processor. As the names imply, the question is if you best relate to information through hearing, seeing, or doing / touching.

I am a very Kinesthetic processor, with a good dose of auditory. Almost nothing on the visual.

This Series of questions and their results reminded me of one of the topics discussed during my JCIPrime seminar (As an aside, JCI Prime is an incredible seminar, if you have to do presentations for any purpose in your daily life, I think its very valuable. Look for your local Jaycees chapter and go to their meetings, they are a great group of future leaders!..that link is for the U.S. Jaycees, in other countries, follow this link ). At that seminar, we talked about the interactive person, the one that wants to do or participate in order to learn. As a habitual back-row-of-the-class kind of student, I assumed that this was definitely not me. I was wrong. My tendency toss the manual aside and want to mess with something until I figure it out is a perfect example of this kind of learner. I think the fact that I scored so low on the visual is also an indicator of why I toss that manual aside.

In the second part of the article, the author goes on to tell you different techniques that will work for you depending on the way process information. Most of it didn’t apply to me (I manage to resist the urge to play with my designer toys that are all over my desk unless I am deep in concentration). I so tend to pace a lot when thinking, but doing that in cubicle land will make me look sort of insane. But I will definitely look into implementing a lot of those recommendations the next time I redesign my home workspace (especially the adjustable height desk). Just as interesting is what hasn’t worked for me, that I see under visual. So THAT’S why I never really got into google calendar and snapping pictures of stuff with the cellphone cam even though I understood how helpful they could be. They weren’t helpful for me.

Either way I recommend you check out the two posts, and see if there is anything there that can help you be more productive!

Manage your own Hotel / B&B Bookings with Open Source tools yourself!

When my wife and I visited Key West and stayed in a Bed and Breakfast, we talked for a little while about how maybe…we should just sell everything and move to Key West and open ourr own B & B. Rent bikes, read and hang out. It looks like maybe with this plugin for WordPress, that dream might be a little easier!

StayPress is a collection of plugins that will turn a standard vanilla installation of WordPress or WordPress MU into a property management and bookings system. Of course when I say Property, I actually mean any bookable resource of which there is a finite availability. So the StayPress system will be able to manage property rentals, hotel room rentals, conference rooms and centres, B and B’s, training rooms, bands, etc…
The new StayPress system takes over from the previous clearskys.net collection of plugins and brings everything together into a more manageable and co-ordinated group.
[From Clearskys.net Blog » Blog Archive » Introducing StayPress]

Now all we need is: Money to buy a huge place in Key West, and the gumption to do it.