I'm writting this blog using Flock. There's been a lot of hype leading up to the beta release of Flock. It's been billed as Web 2.0's browser. It has built in support for a number of trendy sites, like del.icio.us and flickr and is built on top of Firefox. It also has a built-in blogger, that I'm using right now. So what's my opinion of Flock?
Flock is not-bad. It's a good idea to introduce a browser like this whose aim is to make it easier for people to push their own content to the web. It's integration with del.icio.us is a great idea. I could see that as a tool that a lot of people will use. Of course Yahoo! is trying to do the same thing with their My Web tools, and I'm sure Microsoft will follow suit (not so sure about Google.) This kind of tool fits more naturally inside a web browser. Yahoo! uses its toolbar to enable similar functionality, but not everybody has their toolbar or would even want it. To be sure, My Web has other cool features, but I still think Flock+del.icio.us is a better combination.
Having a built-in blog tool is not quite as much of a hit. The biggest blog-site, Google's Blogger, already has a pretty nice interface. For more advanced blogging, Google provides a MS Word plugin that works great. Still Flock has some nice touches. The one I like is the tagging. Tagging is an important part of Web 2.0 and it's nice that you can tag your blogs easily. Actually, they really need to make tagging easier when adding a site to your del.icio.us collection. One of del.icio.us's best features is that this is super easy to tag when using their bookmarklet, and they do a pretty good job of suggesting tags. Anyways, the blogging tool in Flock is not bad.
Now for my real complaints! This is one buggy browser. I installed it on my laptop and on my home desktop. I'm blogging from my laptop, partly because I could not get the blogging feature to work at home. I had a hard time getting del.icio.us integration working on my laptop, though it was easier at home. However, I get prompted for my del.icio.us password a lot on my home machine, but not on my laptop. Its performance is actually not as bad as I expected (Firefox + lots of extensions often becomes slow.) There are many other minor bugs. They've really got to get the blogging and del.icio.us integration working though, as those are their calling cards.