Flock – a Web 2.0 browser?

I have been trying Flock for about a month now. And I am stuck to it.

What I liked:

  1. Blogging support – I am making this blog entry from within Flock. Also there is Technorati publishing support and all that.
  2. Flickr support – you get to know if someone adds new photos and you get to see them in a neat view.
  3. Delicious support – one of my favorite features here. There is a neat sync between your local bookmarks and your delicious bookmarks. You just click on the 'star' next to the address bar and you get a popup where you indicate whether the bookmark should be posted to del.icio.us.
  4. An improved search bar – there is live Yahoo search, local search history and the usual search engine support.
  5. Performance – somehow seems better than Firefox. Dunno why? 😐 (However, see hate point 2)
  6. Web snippets – I don't use this much, but there is a snippets bar, where you can copy snippets of your interest.
  7. News – This is where you get to manage your RSS feeds. But I don't use this either, not better than Blogbridge. 🙂

What I hated:

  1. I sometimes feel they should have gone with making an extension over Firefox rather than a separate browser. Some extensions might not work in Flock. Developers have to adhere to Flock separately. This is not good.
  2. Sometimes, there is some backend process which runs for a long time and results in a 'Unresponsive script' warning. This stops the working of the browser for a while.

Overall, I strongly recommend Flock for people who use the utilities mentioned and were craving for integration of these.

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Blogged with Flock

Web 2.0 service aggregation tools

Recently I noticed a new trend in the Web 2.0 aggregation tools. These are tools which combine other web 2.0 services in one place and provide a way to host a single page containing all your services. The most common services provided by these aggregating tools are combining delicious, flickr, blogspot and rss feeds in one place.

Examples of such tools are:
Suprglu
Squidoo
Peoplefeeds

Here are my pages:
My Suprglu page
My Semantic Web page @ Squidoo
My Peoplefeeds page
(I had signed up for squidoo long back and got a chance to check out their public beta offering.)

I found an inherent problem in these services.

What I tried to do is to set up a page which contains feeds of my interest based on various other tag search results. In particular, I wanted it to aggregate feeds from delicious, Technorati, Google blog search, Yahoo news search, Feedster, Icerocket etc. I wanted search results for:
(semanticweb OR semantic-web OR semweb OR sw OR semantic_web) AND (owl OR rdf OR rdfs OR ontology OR ontologies OR taxonomy OR rdql OR SPARQL OR w3c OR metadata OR semantic OR semantics OR knowledge)

These are the problems I faced:
* Most tag search engines are not intelligent enough to provide RSS feeds for such searches.
* The page is not intelligent enough to remove duplicate links. For example, suppose I have a page bookmarked in delicious having the tags as semantic-web and rdf, then that particular link shows up in both the tag searches. So if I combine the tag search results, the page shows up twice.
* Most of the service providers do not have an option to turn off non-English pages. So many Japanese and French (or Latin?!) pages turn up in the results.
* I want a hierarchy. I should be able to create a group “Semantic web” which contains feed results for the search query given above and another group, say “Web 2.0” which has a similar query. I should be able to relate the results of “Semantic web” group with those of “Web 2.0”.
* The ability to view feeds using different views – “Technical” and “Non-technical” or “Office related” or “Non office related”.
* Finally, there should be a theme. I would like to read my “Technical feeds” once a day and “Comics” once a week. How do I separate them?

I am still looking for a solution.