When the Web 2.0 movement started heating up in 2005, there was a great deal of conjecture surrounding the future of the browser. At the time, Flock was all the rage as the world waited with baited breath for the birth of the “Social Browser.”
Well, here we are in 2007. Flock has not exactly taken off (no pun intended). However, the ideas that were a basis for Flock are still alive and kicking. The folks at Mozilla Labs are taking a shot at transforming this vision into a reality with “The Coop” project. According to the folks at Mozilla Labs:
The Coop will let users keep track of what their friends are doing online, and share new and interesting content with one or more of those friends. It will integrate with popular web services, using their existing data feeds as a transport mechanism.
This is way cool. I continue to be a firm believer that as the web transforms into a platform fundamentally different browsing paradigms and technologies will be necessary. In fact, the very concept of browsing no longer makes sense in a web that is not about destinations, but rather services. Anyway, it seems that the folks at Mozilla are making their way towards that future. As an aside, it is interesting that this project is called, “The Coop” given the competition. Is The Coop intended to cage the Flock? This is somewhat reminiscent of the Mozilla naming history. Remember the whole Mosaic Killa thing? Funny how history repeats itself…
So is Flock indeed, as Matthew Wingram put it, F***ed? Time will tell.
p.s. I will talk about discuss the future of browsing in the follow-up post to “Death of a Portal,” entitled, “Birth of the Social Aggregator.” Believe it, or not, this whole thing actually ties in with the widgetization of the web.