Yoono sidebar versus Flock – does one need a social browser?

yoonoWhen the latest version of Flock arrived on the scene I spent several days using it as my primary browser. I never used Flock much in the past as I was not a regular participant in the “social web” and bookmark synchronization across the various browsers I use was less than satisfactory. I am impressed with this new version as all the Firefox extensions that I regularly use worked with it and I was able to easily sync my bookmarks. Its social media integration is top-notch for my uses, and access to media, both mine and my Facebook friends was pretty cool. But, after a while it became too distracting when all the features and media bars were open. Having been use to the clean user interface of Safari Beta 4, I started to feel overwhelmed by Flock, and slowly started to move back to Safari and Firefox 3.5 RC1. And then I ran into Yoono sidebar.

As Webware remarked “Yoono now offering an elegant solution to social networking clutter “. Yoono connects to all  the major social networks and can update your status across them at the same time. Most of the major IM services are also available. The Discovery widget recommends websites, products, images and videos related to the site you’re currently viewing. It can also highlight keywords on a web page for quick access through Discoveries. Highlight a word on a web page and discover related content videos, Google search results and Wikipedia.

Yoono makes it easy to share links, images and video right from the page you’re on through all your social networks at the same time. You can even drag and drop media from the page you’re viewing into an IM conversation. Other widgets in beta at the time of this post permit you to stream music from last.fm and Imeem. You can check your Yahoo mail or Gmail accounts. The news widget allows you to access your Google Reader or Digg feeds. There’s even a widget for web notes available to your other computers connected to the Internet. Notes can be organized into folders, and Yoono provides basic word processing functionality like bold and italic formatting, underlining, strikeout, bulleted lists, highlighting, embed a link, etc. You can even send your notes to your blog. The media bar lets you search for YouTube videos, images on services like Flicker, and then add them to your note. Yoono is amazing.

No doubt, Flock is a good application if you are looking for a dedicated social media browser. But for me and maybe you, Yooono is all you need. I’ve found Yoono to be the most efficient and useful sidebar I’ve ever encountered. On my wish list is a widget to connect to YouTube favorites and Pandora personal radio stations. Yoono has been a constant companion since I installed it. It’s available for Firefox and a beta version for IE8. Highly recommended. Give it Yoono try. http://www.yoono.com/

Update: A previous version of this post indicated the need for syncing notes across computers. I missed seeing that functionality (as pointed out in the comments) and subsequently deleted the reference.

I continue to use Yoono, especially for writing drafts of blog postings and notes for my textbook. I like being able to work on notes in the sidebar, while displaying web content in the main browser window … and listening to Pat Metheny via the Last.fm Yoono widget at the same time, and all in one app. Brilliant!

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About Michael Ritter PhD
Professor of Geography at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, science textbook author, educational technology blogger, podcaster, and freelance media consultant.

4 Responses to Yoono sidebar versus Flock – does one need a social browser?

  1. Todd Pringle says:

    Hey Michael –

    Thanks for the great post and comparison! We’re excited to hear that the new version of Yoono is helping you be more efficient – it’s exactly what we hope it does for users. And of course we wanted to do it without making users switch from the browser they already use and love. Feel free to give us feedback anytime on our feedback page here: http://getsatisfaction.com/yoono.

    On your webnotes point, actually those are stored server side and you can access them by clicking on the Yoono man icon to the left of your URL bar in your Firefox browser and selecting “My Webnotes”. Let us know if you have a problem with it or have other questions.

    Thanks for using Yoono!

    Todd Pringle
    VP, Product Marketing @Yoono

  2. Todd Pringle says:

    Hey Michael –

    Thanks for the great post and comparison! Excited that you are finding Yoono to be an efficient tool for you – that’s exactly what we hope it delivers for users and of course we wanted to do it in a way that doesn’t require users to change from the browsers that they already use and love. Feel free to give us feedback anytime at http://getsatisfaction.com/yoono!

    On your webnotes comment, webnotes are actually stored server side and available from different machines. Just click on the Yoono icon to the left of your URL bar in Firefox and select “My Webnotes” to access them. Let us know if you have any problems with that.

    Thanks for using Yoono!

    Todd Pringle
    VP, Product Marketing @Yoono

  3. adamjackson says:

    Hello Michael. This was a very thoughtful and thorough review. While we admit that Flock is a competitor, our goal at Yoono is to offer a seamless experience that makes social networking easier with less wasted time while enabling you to stay connected with friends.

    Our widgets that are currently in beta are always being improved so if you have any feedback at all, feel free to hop on http://getsatisfaction.com/yoono to voice your opinion in our community.

    Thanks again and using Yoono!

  4. Pingback: 2010 in review « The Digital Professor

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