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Flock, Firefox social web clash?

Sometimes, just sometimes, my timing is impeccable. While other times, my timing is a strange potent of something that’s to come.

Call it fate, call it Kismet, call it what you will, but me moving from Flock to Firefox could have a been a shrewd move:

“What set Flock apart from it’s elder sibling Firefox was the social glue the developers had added in. So built right in there were options for posting right into your favourite ‘blogging platform, such as WordPress, TypePad, Movable Type, LiveJournal, Drupal and of course, Google Blogger.”

However, scrutinizing eyes of an elder sibling doth covet those finer, social trappings of Flock the younger:

Mozilla has released details on The Coop, a new product that will incorporate social networking features directly into the Firefox browser. This is not good news for the privately-backed social browser Flock (also built on Mozilla), which is yet to release a 1.0 version of its browser. Many of the proposed features and some of the mockups created by Mike Beltzner (see above) suggest a significant overlap in the two products.”

Either I wasn’t paying attention, or they’ve since slipped some new functionality into Flock while I’ve been away. I don’t remember anything like The Coop in Flock the last time I looked.

I remember all of the Flickr, Blogger and stuff, but there was no sharing of this stuff, not as I can recall.

What I will say is, The Coop is the kind of thing that Flock was inching towards. So yes, the signs are indeed very much in the negative for Flock.

I suppose there was always of very real danger that Mozilla might start adding in social elements directly into Firefox, which would in turn attack the very foundations of what allows Flock to differentiate itself.

Let’s face it, good social glue is in high demand these days, and from what I can see of the torrent of soc-called ‘social’ web applications pouring fourth, good quality social glue is in short supply.

A release date for The Coop isn’t forthcoming, and the version of The Coop that’s been seen appears to be nothing more than a proof-of-concept:

“For now, The Coop is merely in its (very early) stages of development and is not available yet to the public to test.”

So where Flock has been taking from Mozilla by way of a solid browser platform, now Mozilla seem to be taking back from Flock what makes it unique…

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By Wayne Smallman

Wayne is the man behind the Blah, Blah! Technology website, and the creator of the Under Cloud, a digital research assistant for journalists and academics.

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