Last night someone on Twitter asked if there was a blogging software similar to Windows Live Writer in Ubuntu. I didn’t know so I did some research. The result of my findings was Flock. Flock is not a blog software only like Live Writer, instead it is a web browser based on Mozilla Firefox but with built in social media capability. You could feasably get similar usability by adding large quantities of plugins to Firefox but Flock is sleek and smooth and all the media just works. It is also available in ALL flavors from Windows to Mac to Linux. If you, like me, find yourself juggling multiple open web browsers/tabs trying to keep track of writing projects, web pages in use, AND various social media sites, then you might want to look into it.
It has taken me most of the day to catch onto how it all works (though, if you are inclined, there are several video walkthru’s at the ready when you first open the browser.) There are various settings you can adpat to your own needs plus it uses all the plugins for Firefox you feel you might need.
- The uploader for media works beautifully! One of my biggest complaints about Flickr is that the apps are often hard to use and messy. This one gives you a preview of everythign you are uploading, has all the info you might want to add, and is quick and easy to use and upload. You can use the uploader for multiple media sites–Flickr, Youtube, and Photobucket just being a few.
- The blog editor. The blog editor is simple and concise. If you blog on several sies you can enter your info for each site (which it saves), make your post, then choose which to upload it to. It also saves drafts and has all the basic functionality you expect in a blog editor. (I am posting this from Flock.)
- All people things in one place. I LOVE that you can see all your different chat mediums in one spot. Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, Flickr, etc all post to the same spot AND you can toggle between individual sites without opening them up if you like. This really simplifies things for m (I have been avoiding posting due to issues with the image uploader in Flickr for Linux AND the uploader in the new version of WordPress iving me trouble.)
- Feed reader. The feed reader is built in and very well done. You can view ALL the sites, put them in folders, see excerpts of each and how many posts in each folder. It marks them as read as you open them but keeps them all so you can go back and see them if you missed somethign or didn’t have time.
- I like that I can have this open with all my social media and work in a separate browser (Firefox.) This way I am no longer confused about having multiple browsers and tabs open and trying to remember which is where and what is what.
- It has a clipoard which is integrated into the browser AND the blogging software meaning I can grab links that I want to use later and save them easily (it also lets you email links easily.)
- It is a bit more clutter than I prefer. It is beautifully themed and elegant but all the little buttons that alert you to different updates are a bit much.
- I love that it saves my favorite sites but wish it would show me whr eit is making that my favorite and allow me to delete the ones that really aren’t. It doesn’t.
- It has a nice little pop-down media browser for photos and videos that I could totally do without.
- I wish there were a weather widget–I keep opening Igoogle anyway to check the weather then stay since that is where my comfortable stuff all is.
- I have to keep Igoogle in case I am on a different computer since Flock doesn’t store your settings online.
- As far as I can see you have to manually go to twitter or facebook to actually post a comment. I miss being able to do it from Igoogle–though granted Betwitered is down part of the time.
- There are a few other nitpicks and some of the items may just be me not being used to the software or not having found out how to use everything.