Will web users ‘Flock' to social surfing?

 作者:岑蒡鹱     |      日期:2019-03-02 05:04:11
By Celeste Biever A “social” web browser has been created to meet the needs of a new generation of web users who want to edit, comment on and share web content, rather than just peruse it. With the underlying capabilities of a basic web browser like Microsoft’s Internet Explorer or Mozilla’s Firefox, the new browser, called Flock – after the buzz it hopes to create – adds features specifically designed to make writing, editing, sharing and displaying web content faster and easier. “The problem is that the web browser has remained fairly stable over the last 10 years, but the web has changed quite a bit,” says its creator, Silicon Valley-based Bart Decrem, who left the Mozilla Foundation to build Flock. “It has gone from a collection of static documents into something that has a largely social dimension to it.” By seamlessly integrating tools for blogging, photo blogging and shared bookmarks into the browser, he hopes Flock will be the first browser to meet the needs of the next generation of collaborative, social web users, which currently number over 10 million and call themselves “Web 2.0”. “Even the word browser is a problem for us,” says Geoffrey Arone, the other co-founder. “It seems like such a passive term.” The browser will not be available to the general public until October 2005. But since it was demonstrated at a conference in Palo Alto, California, US, at the end of August, a trial version has been given to a small group of acquaintances for testing. They are largely enthusiastic. Although blogging tools – such as Blogger by Google and Movable Type by Six Apart – were supposed to make posting content to the web easy for anyone with a broadband connection, it is still not easy enough, says Roland Tanglao, a blogger based in Vancouver, Canada, who is already using the Flock browser. “It’s kind of an awkward process,” he explains. Most frustrating and time-consuming is adding photos, say most bloggers. Right now the best way to do this is to log in to a web site called Flickr, download photos there, and then create a link from Flickr to the blog. But the photos are not always formatted correctly in the blog and it is time-consuming to log into both the photo site and the blog site, says Mike Arrington, another Flock tester, based in Los Angeles, California, who edits the blog TechCrunch. Flock solves some of this by allowing photos to be simply dragged and dropped from Flickr into the blog. Flock is also designed so that as you type your blog and paste photos, you see the blog exactly as it will appear when it is published, a highly desirable and time-saving property known as WYSIWYG (pronounced “whizz-ee-wigg”), for “What You See Is What You Get”. “It’s still crude but the potential is there,” says Tanglao. A single button lets you switch between the underlying html code, and the WYSIWIG image. Flock also highlights how open source projects can foster innovation. Its basic browser capabilities use the same code as Firefox, which can be built upon by anyone because it is open source. “It has all the benefits of Firefox and adds some really cool features,” says Arrington. Even less tech-savvy users will flock to Flock’s “social bookmarking” feature, Tanglao hopes. This allows bookmarks to be accessed from any PC and shared to create an index of popular tagged pages that can be searched by other users. This capability is currently provided by the site http: