My report of the Flock Meetup

Daryl and Mike and I met back on March 22 for the first Flock Meetup here in Knoxville.  Last night we were joined at the second Meetup by Dave and Gabriel, so our numbers are growing. For about 2 hours we discussed where Flock is now and where it is headed.  The new direction seems to be one that leads back to Flock’s roots.  As Daryl explained it, originally there was a focus on correlating what you and your friends were doing online, what sites you were finding interesting and sharing links and news with each other.  The metaphor, apparently, was that as people aggregated their interests, they would all “flock” to the same areas of interest.  I’ve posted a picture of the group on my Flickr site.  As an aside, I might point out that I was with four young men who ranged in age from one half to almost one third my age, but despite that I didn’t feel out of place at all. 

As has been the practice at these meetups, we rambled widely across a number of topics.  Mike continued to play the role of the skeptic about Flock, saying he’ll begin using it full time when it meets some of his needs more specifically.  Gabriel was quiet and contributed a few comments but mostly observed.  Dave, who says he isn’t a blogger, contributed a number of comments and asked some useful questions.  Daryl, in something of a Scoblesque stance, honestly admitted that there were things (the blog editor and the collections manager) that he didn’t like about the way Flock was constructed, and I, in my usual “fan mode,” continue to be a staunch supporter of the browser, illustrating I suppose my gullibility. 

All of us learned something, I think, which made the evening worthwhile.  Daryl got the benefit of the feedback that we all gave about our experience of using Flock.  Dave and Mike learned that in Flock (as in Firefox) if you have multiple pages open when you go to Tools > Options > General and click “Use Current pages” that you can have more than one home page that opens each time you open your browser.  Both Mike and Dave were delighted to learn this because in Mike’s case he discovered that he could open his two standard always-opened first web sites (Bloglines and Gmail), and Dave because he had been perplexed because Flock kept opening four pages when it started and he couldn’t figure out why.  I learned that you can drag a URL from the address bar and drop it on top of the Home page button and that doing so will set that URL as your home page.  Because he didn’t say much, I can’t say for sure what Gabriel learned, but I imagine he picked up something he could use. Oh, and I think Dave began to appreciate that you don’t have to be a blogger to benefit from using del.icio.us

I really appreciate opportunities such as this to sit around with some knowledgeable geeks because I enjoy learning how other people approach using the tools available to access information on the Internet and make use of it.  While I don’t always adopt their practices, I think it is valuable to expand my horizons and learn.  No matter how comfortable I am with my own way of doing things, there are always more ways to interact with the Internet than I know and being in a group like this helps to remind me of that.  One of the benefits of this kind of group is that it is small enough that you can ask your questions and share your knowledge with others without getting lost in the mass of humanity that is so common in PC Users Groups.

It was a very pleasant evening, and I’m sure that if there is a third Knoxville Flock Meetup I’ll be there.

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