Styling itself the “social web browser”, Flock (based on Firefox), has a host of built-in features for social networking, but I’m writing about the one I like best – the Media Bar. This can be opened from the View menu or by clicking an icon in the Flock toolbar:

Flock media bar button

The Media Bar can be used with several different media services including Facebook and YouTube, but I only use it with Flickr. When the bar is open (at the top of the screen by default though you can move it to the bottom) it displays photo feeds laid out as a single-row grid of square tiles. (I have a thing for grid layouts so this is great for a start!)

There are a couple of built-in streams, which update regularly to show the latest images that have been added to Flickr, for example photos from your Flickr contacts:

Flickr contacts

But you can have your own custom streams too, and this is where the fun really starts. You can add your favourite Flickr searches – mine include “stitch textile”:

stitch textile Flickr search


shibori Flickr search

and “nuno felt”:

nuno felt flickr search

It’s visually exciting to see the thumbnails together, and if something particularly catches your eye, you can hover over the thumbnail and expand the image to see it better and find out who it belongs to – this one is by felt4uart:

nuno image expanded

Or you can click through direct to the image on Flickr (this is by KatharinaBe):

from media bar to Flickr

You can tell someone else about an image:

sharing images

And save your favourite searches to revisit:

media stream menu

Sometimes I play with keyword searches for inspiration – this was “orange spiral”:

orange spiral search

The default media stream is “Preview New” which displays the newest images from all your saved searches, including your Flickr contacts.

Flock preview new

I spend much of my working day using a browser, so I really like this colourful little changing show of textiles and design inspiration quietly feeding itself onto my screen. Something will often catch my eye and give me a moment of pleasure. When I stop for a break I sometimes scroll back through recent images and maybe follow through one or two that stand out. And if it all gets too distracting, I can just close up the Media Bar, knowing next time I open it up there’ll be new goodies to enjoy.

fun with Flock and Flickr

8 thoughts on “fun with Flock and Flickr

  • February 15, 2009 at 8:26 pm

    I used to use FLock and went back to Firefox – can’t remember why….

    Anyhooo Is this how you found my flickr? Its a groovy applicaiton, perhaps I’ll switch back???/

    • February 15, 2009 at 8:48 pm

      Hi Lynne, yes, exactly. Your amazing evening coats appeared and I had to see more!

  • February 16, 2009 at 11:10 am

    oh, no! adding more computer time. will i ever get awy from it and into the studio?
    thanks anyway:)

    neki desu

  • February 16, 2009 at 11:20 am

    This looks great!
    Mind you I don’t need any more distractions on my computer lol!
    Fiona you won my give away!!
    Yey well done!
    So have yourself a browse through my shop and let me know which canvas print you would like!
    Also send me your address just to make sure I have it right.

    • February 16, 2009 at 1:23 pm

      wow, really? I can’t believe it – that has made my day!!

  • February 16, 2009 at 9:18 pm

    This sounds very interesting. Thank you for the links!

  • February 17, 2009 at 2:48 am

    Thats sounds good but way too distracting for me! I would never get anything done.

  • February 17, 2009 at 1:50 pm

    i love reading your blog. that looks lush i am downloading it now and hopefully will figure out how it works – i think i need to go to one of those mac classes at some point as i’m sure there’s million things i’m not utilising in here – i am now using firefox to watch iplayer though which is good! love you xxx

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