Friday, January 04, 2008

Flock a 2.0 web browser

I had the chance to have lunch today with Erwan Loisant, a friend of mine working for Flock, a web browser company located in Mountain View, CA.

It has been a while I wanted to write an article about their product, Flock, which I use on a daily basis. Flock might not be as known as Internet Explorer or Firefox, but it is in my opinion, the best web browser in the market.

What makes Flock so special?
Flock has been built on the Mozilla technologies, the one used by Firefox. The main specificity of Flock it is that it is a social web browser. It has incorporated all the different components required and needed for online social networking.

Indeed, you have a RSS feed aggregator. One of the cool new function is the people sidebar, where you can see for example the last Twitter of your contacts. You also have the same with your friends activity on Facebook. When you start using this component, you can't stop, as it really helps you organizing your social network activities.

If you are a blogger, they have a blog editor function allowing you to quickly write an article. This is pretty fast and avoid you to log on your blogging platform, so that saves you time somehow.

On a business point of view
On a business point of view, I truly believe that they have an innovative product. I also think they have been (or are) at the right place at the right time. Indeed, they already master and developed a navigator favorating online social networks, which will for sure be the main trend of the Internet for the next years to come.

In my opinion, web 2.0 and online social network are more than trends and will be the bases of the new Internet, and therefore, the Flock initiative make sense.

Next challenges, and my vision of what Flock should do
This is my humble opinion, but I think that the company should focus on these two topics. First, The next challenge of the company would be to develop some mobile devices interfaces, to compete against Internet explorer on Windows mobile for instance. That would also help people using social network on-the-go, which is difficult now with the existing web interface for mobile phones.

Secondly, I think Flock should try to develop a "netvibes" kind of personal page. Thus one of the problem with the RSS feed aggregator is that it is stuck on your computer, and you can't have access to it on another machine. The idea would be to create a Flock personal page, that would allows users to find their RSS feeds and other components on the go, on another computer for example.

I would suggest you to give it a shot, as I believe it really helps organizing and surfing through your different social networks.

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