For all you early adopters out there, I can HIGHLY recommend the new brouser Flock. Based on Mozilla code, the Flock is safe from many of the phishing scams and viruses that disable Internet Explorer. But more importantly, Flock integrates a number of functions that require extensions in Firefox, or can only be done in separate windows. (Extensions in Firefox often cause memory leak, which degrades the browser experience.)

First and most importantly, Flock has integrated the best combination newsreader and front page I have seen. The main problem with most integrated newsreaders is that they don't allow you to have a hierarchy of feeds. By this I mean they don't offer folders in which to hold similarly grouped feeds. Flock does this nicely and, in addition, hosts the feeds as a front page in the desired hierarchy. For this reason and this reason only, I am happy to leave my long used Bloglines account and finally used a browser based newsreader.

Second, Flock offers integrated blogging. By this, I mean you can register your blog in Flock, and submit entries straight from the browser. When you hit the blogging tab on the main menu, a nice dialogue box pops up with all the functionality of any good text editor. It even has a great spell check function, which blogger does not. As such, I can now stop writing my posts in Word, and then copying them over to Blogger.

Next, Flock is integrated with sites like Flickr and actually allows you to pull up your Flickr account in a strip menu across the top of the browser page. For bloggers, this is a very nice function, as you can then just pull pictures out of your Flickr or other account and post it on your blog. Nice.

And finally, the favorites function is fully integrated with a number of bookmarking sites like "delicious". People who use bookmarking sites know how powerful they can be. Unfortunately, Flock doesn't work with Yahoo's My Web yet, so I'm not sure what I'll do. If I find I can download my bookmarks from Yahoo to my old delicious account, I'll do that. We'll see.

Which leads me to the final point. The trend in browser technology today is for individual browsers to allign themselves with the leading portals. Obviously Internet Exporer is alligned with MSN and Firefox and Google are pretty close. That leaves Yahoo without a partner.

On a recent TechCrunch podcast, a VC Flock investor all but said that they were aiming at Yahoo as a partner. The integration of delicious (owned now by Yahoo) is a good first step in that direction. I am a big user of Yahoo, think they have the best strategy and features, and, as such, hope that Flock and Yahoo will someday come together as one. But even before then, it is worth giving the new Flock Beta One a try.

Blogged with Flock