Mossberg on Flock: Neat, Innovative, Not for Everyone

By  |  Wednesday, August 6, 2008 at 8:27 pm

Over at All Things Digital, Walt Mossberg has reviewed the beta version of Flock 2.0, the new iteration of the product that I declared my favorite Web browser last fall. Walt likes all the stuff that Flock offers for multi-tasking social network fans–built-in support for Facebook, Flickr, YouTube, a bunch of blogging platforms, and a lot more. Ultimately, though, his bottom line is less than a rave:

“Flock does a good job at the tasks it sets for itself, but I would recommend it for only the heaviest and most impatient social networkers. For most others, Flock is overkill.”

Oddly enough, even though I spend most of my time in Flock these days and like it a lot, I can’t quibble with that assessment. In fact, when people ask me what browser to use, I recommend Firefox just as often as I do Flock–and if the person in question isn’t into social networking and media sharing, I tell them without hesitation that Firefox is their best option. (Walt takes Flock to task for being busy, and he’s right: For folks who want to take advantage of all its features, dealing with the clutter is worth it, but it’s probably intimidating and unneccesary if you’re not already a pretty sophisticated user of the Web.)

The best thing about Flock 2.0 is that the Flock crew quickly came out with a version built on top of Firefox 3.0. When that browser came out, I was worried that I wouldn’t get the 3.0 goodness for months, if at all–but I’m enjoying features like the Awesome Bar as much as if I was using them in Firefox rather than Flock.

I’ve said this before, but we live in a wonderful era for browser fans: Between Firefox, Flock, Safari, Opera, and, yes, Internet Explorer, there’s something for everybody, and nearly all sites that matter work equally well in all of them. (Exceptions remain, such as the inexcusably IE-only Walmart Music Store.) If Flock sounds intriguing, there’s no downside to downloading it and giving it a whirl. I agree with Walt that it’s overkill for a lot of people. But for some of us, it’s exactly the right browser, and I hope it’s successful enough to be around for a very long time.

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