Something tastes funny

Just an FYI — we’re in the process of investigating a nasty tasting bug that’s sitting somewhere between Flock and Delicious.

Apparently Favorites are disappearing (*gasp!*) without a clear reason. Lloyd thinks that it might be something on Delicious’ end, but we’re still looking into it. Rest assured, no existing data is being lost — however, creating new favorites is definitely flaky (possibly because of interactions on the server side).
Keep an eye on Bug #2919 for details. To report any issues you run into, drop a bug report to feedback (at) flock dot com. We’ve got our best people on this, so I’ll let you know the outcome as soon as I get word.

The jaywalking podcast (GlitchNYC)

Jaywalking podcast - photo by Miss RogueBarcamps NYC and Austin veteran Eric Skiff captured a pretty decent interview with me touching on Flock and microformats while we made our our way back to SXSW from the Spaghetti warehouse yesterday. Give it a listen and then subscribe to GlitchCast. Good stuff — and really good audio quality given the circumstances!

Flock 0.5.13 released with 100% more Photobucket

Flock released

Though we’re still struggling with speed issues on the Mac, we were able to squeeze in our second photo service for uploading and browsing photos: Photobucket! Download the latest release and check it out.

To give this new functionality a go, do this:

Open up Flock’s Preferences dialog, click the Web Services tab, choose Photo Sharing and then select Photobucket from the dropdown menu.

Switching photo services requires Flock to be restarted, and you’ll be prompted to do this after making your selection. After switching services, the Photo Browser and Uploader interfaces will change to reflect the feature set of the new service.

Oh, and we also took care of a nasty bug that would mangle title, description, and tag fields when using multibyte UTF-8 characters in the Photo Uploader.

Flock ETech presentation available

Flock eTech 2006 slides available

I exported a Quicktime movie of my slides from ETECH (click to advance each slide). I’ll be doing a vidcast of the presentation in a week or two so you can get the full effect (and hopefully I’ll be able to share it in multiple formats).

For the two Demo Time slides, here’re the scripts I would have used if the network would have been less flaky:

Demo One

  1. on a friend’s page, hit the star
  2. rss reading
  3. topic aggregation (om and techcrunch)
  4. now click through to a one of the pages
  5. open the technorati topbar to see what’s going on

Demo Two

  1. open photo browser — look for etech
  2. photo uploading — ok i want to upload my own photos
  3. history search (to find something to blog — like the techcrunch page we saw before)
  4. blogging workflow (of page found through history and then drag in uploaded photo)

Leave me comments if you have any questions.

Update: By request from the management, I decided to remove 3 slides at the end of the presentation about “getting laid” since without context from the in-person presentation, it may seem a bit more lewd than intended.

What’s up with the Flockstar shirts?

Flockstar shirts... :(

So I just wanted to send out a long overdue update on the Flockstar shirts. I had wanted these to go out two weeks ago but it turned out that after a washing, the lighter part of the star wore off. We shipped them back to Ken at GiantRobotPrinting and he’s got them all fixed up and good to go — I just need to finalize the tremendous list of requests that I got and fire’em off to him for shipping. Admittedly I’m going to be pressed for time over the next two weeks — I definitely want to get this done and have the shirts go out ASAP!

So thanks for your patience all you who made a request — I haven’t forgotten the original offer — there’s just been some curious complications along the way!

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Heading to Bar Camps LA & Austin, ETech and SXSW

Bar Camp Los AngelesI’m gearing up for a whirlwind two weeks that’ll start tonight in LA for Bar Camp (where Jason Roberts is putting me up), drop me in San Diego for Etech (with a ride from BCLA organizer Kareem Mayan) where I’ll be presenting on Flock, from whence I shuttle down to Austin for whurley’s Bar Camp extravaganza and then pop over to SXSW where I’m on two panels as well as going out of my mind for 120 seconds at 20×2.


Here’s hoping that my unprepared presentation at Under the Radar yesterday will improve over the next week so that by the time I’m talking about Flock at ETech I remember to hit the Star button and show off Photo Uploading. Heh.

At least I showed the mapping feature. Right Fredo?

The decade of user experience (redux)

I originally posted this piece on the Round Two website (the precursor to Flock) in April of last year, and it appears that I now have some corroboration from the Association for Computing Machinery. Of course I never finished the follow up post, but Andreas Pfeiffer seems to have hit the mark.

As a full time user experience architect and user advocate, it is my job to make technology more accessible, usable and more pleasurable to use. I do this work because I enjoy it and find it immensely important and fulfilling.

I know that the cultural artifacts that I produce (in the form of web interfaces) immediately affect the lives of people who touch my work. And if I don’t do my job well, they’re liable to experience frustration, annoyances or other less-than-positive feelings. Since I have utter control over whatever ends up on the screen (or output thru a screen reader), I have a duty and responsibility to make wise and measured choices so that those less-than-positive feelings never arise and instead are countered by feelings of empowerment, amusement and satisfaction.

It has occurred to me more and more over the last few months that my work is not at all unique, but a larger, more pervasive trend towards user-centered design. While there are still immense opportunities for taking improving the design of interfaces (both web and application-based), I believe that we are ushering in a decade of design innovation dedicated to improving user experience.

In my next post, I will discuss the four emerging families of user experience design and what they mean for web, application and workflow design.

I want a Tails topbar

Calvin Yu has done a great job with his Tails extension and I’d like to see something similar in Flock — but much fuller featured. How about a microformat vaccuum cleaner thingamahoogie that sucks up all the mFs it finds, indexes them with Lucene and then spits them back out in a Greasemonkey-created address book or calendar? Eh eh? Any takers?

Flock Spellbound malware issue

Killeroid has reported that the latest release of Flock is being detected as malware on Windows and Linux machines. This appears to be linked the Spellbound JAR file, which is used in our blog editor’s spell checker. We’ve all but determined that it’s a false positive and that there’s nothing to worry about.

The malware signature that Spellbound matches is actually quite generic and applies to many zip files (JAR files are just zip files), which again leads us to the conclusion that this is a false positive.

Anyway, we’ll keep you posted as we get to the root of this. Very strange indeed!