Imagine this for your workspace.
I used flock when it first came out (www.flock.com)
Back then all it was was firefox slapped with makeup
The newer version I must say is somewhat better, in fact its a lot better.
it’s totally a blogger’s ultimate browser, packed with some really neat features which integrates with all the big web 2.0 social, blogging, bookmarking, networking and video sites.
Seriously cool RSS Handling and it integrates nicely into sites like facebook, del.icio.us, flickr, youtube and even photobucket.
It has a startup page which lets you view your feeds at one glance, and lists your favourite site and most viewed sites.
Flock also supports extensions, although there are not as many as firefox, but still alot of useful ones.
Flock’s rss handling is far superior to firefox’s.
Don’t let the fact that flock isn’t firefox perturb you, because it is, just on steroids.
I am not crazy about the search engine handling, flock uses yahoo as it’s default SE, but that can easily be changed.
I like the fact that you can add facebook, urban dictionary and others to your list of SE’s.
Once you have configured delicious, adding a site to your favourites is as easy as clickong the big blue star that appears to the left of the url in the address bar.
Once you set up your blog’s intergration via flock, blogging about something you just found on the next becomes as easy and right clicking an image and selecting BLOG THIS from the context menu.
I am not way fond of the blog editor but it will do.
So all in all, it’s a web2.0, social browser built on mozilla.
I think I just found my favourite new browser
Blogged with Flock
I signed up and did a few searches, hoping that I was stumbled upon the next best thing to hit the net, however , like many others, I was bitterely dissapointed with the search results. The novelty of the attached mini articles will wear off, although I do like the idea, it’s pretty novel.
I just hope for their sake that their search results improve.
The idea of including a mini article on the serps can definitely be improved on, kind of like Ask, but hopefully not that over done.
Wikipedia founder’s search engine gets bad reviews
But founder Jimmy Wales is as optimistic as ever.
By Farhad Manjoo
Jan. 07, 2008 | “We are aware that the quality of the search results is low,” Search Wikia points out in a bold-faced notice on its site, but the concession isn’t silencing many critics. The new search engine, an ambitious effort spearheaded by Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, has been so long in the making — and so overhyped — that on seeing the product for the first time today, critics couldn’t contain their scorn.
TechCrunch’s Michael Arrington calls it “one of the biggest disappointments I’ve had the displeasure of reviewing.” And at Search Engine Land, Chris Sherman labels Search Wikia “essentially useless as a search engine,” and he wonders if the project can ever succeed, and, indeed, if it’s even necessary.
As Wales conceives it, Search Wikia is not just a new kind of search engine, it’s an entirely new kind of Web project.
Jimmy Wales wants people out on the Internet to help build something as complex and useful as Google, in much the same way that people took his desultory online encyclopedia and transformed it, over the years, into the world’s best reference source. In fact, this project is even more ambitious — here people are working not only to edit text but to edit computer algorithms and policies, the arcane set of systems that companies like Google need an army of developers to run.
Can such a thing ever work? Wales can be a big talker, but mainly he’s self-effacing. When I asked him, a few months ago, about the difficulties of his project, he admitted, “I could fail. I have no idea. But I’m going to have fun trying.”
He also noted that the first version of the search engine wouldn’t be very good at all. He was right. You can try it out here. I ran many searches and, like other testers, found that a great deal returned poor results.
As one example, type in Paul Greengrass. The first result is the Amazon entry for the “Bourne Ultimatum” DVD (which Greengrass directed), followed by several haphazardly ordered links to reviews, sketchy DVD stores, and questionable foreign sites. Search for the same term in Google and you find, first, a link to Greengrass’ filmography at the Internet Movie Database, and next a Wikipedia entry, which tells you Greengrass is a kick-ass movie director. The results page is superb.
Search Wikia’s spotty results are by design. The trouble with the sort of project Wales is building is that, even if it may one day succeed, it’s got to start off sucking.
At its birth, the Google search engine pretty much beat out every competitor — that’s what made it so successful so fast. Search Wikia, like Wikipedia, will improve only if people help it. The site allows you to rate the search engine’s results — you can do so by clicking on the stars that come up next to some links. You can also alter its white list (which tells the site which pages to include in its results), and, more generally, you can help create new policies determining how the whole thing will work.
Wales wants people, now, to start doing that work. In an interview a few minutes ago, he told me, “We have enough features there that people will find useful in their day-to-day work. They’ll find that a reason to stick around and use the product even while the search results are improving in quality.”
In time — a long time, at least two years, Wales says — Search Wikia will return results that are as good as those of the other engines.
But search quality is not his only goal. Wales says we need an open-source, transparent search engine — one that explains why it’s returning the results it is — because search determines how we understand the world. What we get on a Google results page is too consequential to keep the method behind those results hidden.
Really, then, the debate over Search Wikia is more about philosophy than functionality. I mentioned to Wales that he’s got a chicken-and-egg problem — he needs people to use the search engine in order to improve it, but people aren’t going to use a search engine that gives them lousy results.
Sherman suggests that Wales’ push for transparency and community may not be enough of an inducement for people to join the project:
And as searchers, do we really want or need that transparency? Ten years ago I could look under the hood of my car and fiddle with my engine when I wanted to modify something. Today, just about every system in my car is computerized, completely inaccessible to my tinkering. But given the virtually maintenance-free operation of my car I’m perfectly happy with that change and don’t long for the lost days of “engine transparency” at all.
But Wales believes people are yearning for transparency. He says that he has no worries that nobody will want to work on Search Wikia; what he worries about, in fact, is that he’ll get more volunteers than the project can effectively manage.
Wales was right about this for an online encyclopedia. Eventually we’ll know if he’s right about search, too. But not soon.
I went in search of a few plugins to do a few things which submit or vote stories on my blog on various social bookmarking services and sites.
Frankly to go and set up each one individually would be a right pain so I opted for trying out notable but saw that sociable was far easier to implement. Simply activate the plugin and bob’s your uncle, whereas notable requires that you edit your template and add some code in the loop area and I wasn’t in the mood to fiddle with Colin’s template.
So I installed Sociable but guess what ?
W3C CSS Validator Results for http://blogs.thetimes.co.za/desousa/
Sorry! We found the following errors
URI : http://blogs.thetimes.co.za/desousa/wp-content/plugins/sociable/sociable.css
Do you have ANY idea how irritating that is?
So now I am forced to go and fiddle with the template while I try to get Notable to work and I have a very sneaky suspiscion that it might work just fine because there are no css files and xhtml is easier to sort out than CSS.
More’s the pity about Sociable though because Muti are punting a hacked version of Sociable which is also not css compliant which is available over here. The fact that there is a “Mutified” version is awsome but sadly, not compliant
Rafiq, if you get this, please be a champion and sort that css out and re-release that sucker, it would be awesome!