It’s not Flock vs. Performancing

It’s too bad that the popularity of’s blogging extension for Firefox seems to have turned into an anti-Flock thing, because I don’t think it has to be that way. I know people tend to see things in a kind of binary way — Performancing is great, so Flock is f***ed, as Paul Kedrosky so eloquently put it — but I think there’s plenty of room for both, or at least I hope so (Paul takes another crack at his thoughts on Flock here).

Chris Messina, who is Flock’s ‘director of experience and open source ambassador’ (that’s quite the title, Chris), has written an impassioned defence of where he thinks Flock is going, and why it makes sense. He makes some good points, but I also liked his comment on Paul’s blog, where he says: ‘I hope you get a lot of traction out of Performancing. It’s a decent piece of work and I’m excited to see more Firefox folks getting into blogging. Flock isn’t going to be for everyone and nor will Performancing. Isn’t it nice to have choice on the web again?’ (Miss Rogue over at horsepigcow has another take that I quite enjoyed).

People like Mike at TechCrunch shouldn’t feel like they have to come to Flock’s defence. The company and the app came under some fire for the early hype, and an initial version that was a lot more alpha than beta, but that’s the way things go. I’ve tried the Performancing extension too, and I think it is fantastic — and I must admit it made me question the need for a whole separate browser too. But we shouldn’t get religious about these things. I’m going to keep checking out to see if they can change my mind. Choice is good.

8 thoughts on “It’s not Flock vs. Performancing

  1. Pingback: tech.memeorandum @ 3:25 PM ET, December 22, 2005

  2. mathew,
    i’ve tried flock and came away disappointed because it came too early and i don’t see how it’s going to be different enough from IE, opera and firefox to carve out a niche. i think what the performancing extension demonstrates is flock’s lack of raison d’etre. if flock’s biggest sizzle can be defused so easily, then what’s the appeal?


  3. Hey Matt,

    Thanks for the feedback. I very much appreciate the rationality of your response — and the point about folks becoming “binary” about these things is pretty spot on.

    I didn’t ask Mike to write his post or to come to our defense or anything — I did point him to my post in a conversation that he and I were having last night and an hour later he said that I had “inspired” him (!).

    So I think the bigger point that he was responding to — and which is why I think he continues to like Flock — is that there is a bigger idea here and more at work in the way the web is changing that current thinking simply doesn’t yet address. I’m working on Flock as a 10 year project; I’m working on Open Source as a 10 year project. Damn, the web has made us an impatient lot. Yeah, well, a little patience, a little hope and some elbow grease, yeh, that’s what’s gonna make this thing better and no longer just the neighborhood of the geeks. Well, that’s what I’m hoping for anyway.

  4. Mark:

    I know what you mean — I was disappointed too. But at the same time, I did like the Flickr integration and a couple of other things Flock had. Could those all be handled with extensions to Firefox? Sure — and that’s what the success of Performancing’s plug-in shows. But I think it’s a little early to say Flock is dead as an idea. As Chris says in his comment, I think we’re getting a little impatient.


    Thanks for stopping by. And I wasn’t trying to suggest that you got Mike to respond in your defence — I think he felt he had to because of some of the things that were being said, which is a shame. It’s one thing to say the Performancing extension is great, but that doesn’t necessarily mean we should be giving Flock the last rites.

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  7. Performancing is a nice add-in, Flock’s pretty nice too. For a *much* more advanced blog editor, check out RocketPost:

    (I designed it.)

    It supports built-in photo editing, auto links to related posts, Technorati/Delicious tags, AutoCorrect, and lots more.

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