What the Flock is Flock?

According to Wired:

Flock advertises itself as a “social browser,” meaning that the application plays nicely with popular web services like Flickr, Technorati and del.icio.us. Flock also features widely compliant WYSIWYG, drag-and-drop blogging tools. The browser even promises to detect and authenticate all those user accounts automatically. It’s a clear attempt to be the browser of choice for the Web 2.0 user.

Interesting that they are attempting to aggregate all of that stuff in the browser — that was one of the reasons that I created this site was to have one place that I could link in all of my ‘social software’ (del.icio.us, flickr, last.fm, etc). Maybe Flock is a tool that we help me do what I am already doing better (or maybe I just don’t have a clue).

In addition to linking in some other functionality on the web, I have also been toying around with adding some information to the site using FOAF and some of the microformats that I have been reading about.

I signed up to be notified of when invites were going out. Maybe I’ll be one of the lucky early testers.

WiredReach Content Sharing Platform

WiredReach looks like an interesting idea for sharing content without using shared servers:

The WiredReach Platform allows users to selectively share content with others in a completely decentralized and secure manner. That means your content does not have to be uploaded to any central servers but rather can be shared right from your desktop or device. We use the term “content” very loosely to include things like presence, blogs, bookmarks, documents, calendars, music, photos… virtually any type of social media.

From following the download link, there is a wiredreach.com which provides the development support for the opensource project.

It appears that it is all based on opensource using Java JXTA for some of the underlying network capabilities. There are a number of plugin projects going on to add blogging and various other content type sharing to the core project.

Downloading the Mac OSX version now. More when I have a chance to work with it a bit.


Updated 14 September 2005: Granted I didn’t dig too far, but there is really not much to see from what they have available at this point. It looks like many of the plugins and other functionality is not quite there yet. The ability to add a few links to a page and have some rudimentary ‘forum’ functionality is not terribly compelling beyond what you get ‘out of the box’ with a Wiki. The claim in their blurb above about supporting ‘any type of social media’ appears to be a forward-looking statement at this point.

Without setting it up on several machines and emailing notifications to myself, there didn’t seem to be much meat. It would have been nice if there were one or two ‘sample’ sites available that one could connect to get a better feel for the software.

I’ll check back on this in the future, but for now (for me) it doesn’t seem very compelling (and I had high hopes of an awesome JXTA-based application).

Semantic MediaWiki Implementation

I was interested to learn that enhancements to Wiki are being formulated to allow for the inclusion of semantic annotation of articles.

Wiki has proven itself to be an effective means of collecting information (look no further than the wikipedia). Coupling something like wikipedia with a means of being able to make machine readable sense of the collected knowledge is a pretty potent combination.

Smells Like Dot-Bomb Pixie Dust

I sure hope that this new service works better than their bloated, pointless flash interface. The fact that they are using flash makes one question just how tuned in they really are.

Even the Wired write up on the company reminds me of what would get VC cash in the 90s: “we’re going to make this awesome product that does, er, something, um, everything and people are going to love it…”

I am curious to see what actually materializes “in the fall”.

Name Popularity

I thought that this was a brilliant little java applet that allows you to examine the popularity of names over time. Not surprisingly, many of the biblical based names remain at a somewhat steady stream of popularity and that some names tend to come and go based upon television or movie characters having those names.

My name appears to have been most popular in the 30s and 40s and has been in decline since. Suits me.

It also demonstrates a frightening trend of late to have children named after product brands.