Thursday, July 06, 2006

Apps Retry

I've recently taken a new look at a couple of Web 2.0 apps: Flock and Meetro. I had already tried both of them and blogged about Flock last year. I had seen the news about Flock going beta, so gave it a new try.

The good news is that Flock has really improved over the last nine months. I didn't find any of the huge bugs I experienced last year. I did run across some weird issues with its blogging tool, which I'm using now and used for a couple of other recent blogs. It seemed to dump a ton of unclosed font tags into the HTML it generated. Blogger was not too happy with this. It wasn't too hard to fix the HTML by dumping it into a text editor (TextPad) and doing a search/replace, but it was annoying to have to do that. It's only done that on one of the three blog posts I've written using it, so I haven't abandoned it ... yet.

One of the great assets of Flock is that it is based on Firefox. This is a problem too, because Firefox has so many extensions. The two features I like the most about Flock are it's delicious integration and blogging tool. However, I like the Firefox delicious extension better than Flock's delicious integration. Flock is more seamless, but that makes it seem strange. Also there are bookmarks that I want only on one computer somtimes, such as sites on my company's intranet. I don't want thse sent to delicious since I won't even be able to use them from any other computer, unless I VPN'd to my company's intranet. I do like Flock's blogging tool better than Performancing, the tool I've been using on Firefox.

The other app I retried is Meetro. It too has come a long way in the past six months or so. It offers integration with AIM, Yahoo, MSN, and ICQ. That's great, but where's Google Talk? Also, it's buddy list management is really lacking. You can't create aliases and you can't organize the buddy lists.

Of course Meetro's selling point is not as a universal IM client (Gaim is much better for that,) but as a location aware IM client. This seems to work OK. I put in my work address and it insisted I had my zip code incorrect, even though I didn't. It also made an initial guess on my location as Fremont. I was in Los Altos, which is about 22 miles away.

Keep in mind that I am far from the target user of Meetro. That would definitely be teenagers and particularly college students. I might get my teenage nieces to give it a try and see their opinion, and maybe my nephew Daniel, who is a student at FSU.

Update: I have grown tired of Meetro and uninstalled it. I did recommend it to a few of my nieces, so I'll see how they like it. I've really grown fond of Flock and have started using both its RSS aggregator and its Flickr upload features a lot. It's very cool to open my photostream and drag-n-drop pics from it to a blog post I'm working on. It would be nice if there was a sync extension for it, so that if I add a newsfeed on my laptop it is also added on my desktop at home.

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Blogged with Flock

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