Do I Really Need A 4th Browser?

Having recently posted a confession that I’m simply not that into social networking, I felt that I needed to check out Flock “The social Web browser” and see what it was all about.

Flock is based on Mozilla and purports to be the browser for the modern Web.  Basically, the concept is that you finally have a single point of view on all your Web 2.0 social apps including Facebook, MySpace, Flickr, and more.

Its terrible frankly.  Maybe its just the UX/IA guy in me but all I see is a hyper cluttered browser with what look like old school HTML frames that contain all of a users’ “must see” information.  The more I play with it, the more confused I get about its value and purpose.  There are times that the browser includes 3 frames, multiple tabs, and several columns of info in the main panel.  Each of the columns in the main panel has what would appear to be a set of arrows for cycling through content but I can’t figure them out.  Half the content on the page changes when I press one.

I don’t mean to sound like a grumpy old man and I realize we’re talking about version 1 software here but it seems like everything Flock wishes to accomplish could be handled with a Firefox plugin or two (if it isn’t already) rather than a 4th browser for me to worry about.  I give it a resounding “meh” or at best a “we’ll see”.