Flying the “Coop”

No I’m not going anywhere, actually I’m talking about the buzz surrounding one of the Mozilla Labs projects, Coop.

Coop is a prototype nextgen browser that is intended to “leapfrog” Flock. Considering that one of the screenshots is from a Flock pre-release, it seems that what Flock has done has garnered interest in the Mozilla developers. As well it should, Flock does a great job of integrating new technologies such as social browsing, photo sharing and blogging right out of the box.

The primary focus seems to revolve around keeping track of what friends are doing online and being able to share content with those friends. Content such as “Flickr photos, favourite YouTube videos, tagged websites, composed blog posts, updated Facebook status, etc.” The stated assumption is that “the most common social interaction on the web today is sending someone a link.” And this prototype builds on that assumption.

Their use cases also point out that the browser should enable the user to “keep up to date with a friend’s web activity.” This done I am assuming via RSS. One would follow a friend by clicking on their avatar in a top bar or side bar to get more information. Four mock-up pictures were linked to from the site. I’ll include those in a bit as I’m cutting them down to size.

A few ideas came out of this for me:

  • Twitter is already doing what the Mozilla developers are considering for “who’s doing what when,”
  • A feed reader such as Google Reader takes up too much real estate – perhaps there could be a SuprGlu type aggregation of feeds to minimize impact on available space and give that stream of consciousness effect.
  • The idea of avatars is nice but give the viewer the choice of how many avatars to view at one time and in what size. Give them the choice between a view of who’s doing what chronologically or by virture of their importance/relationship to the viewer.
  • Ok, we’re seeing who’s doing what but if we want to share what we’re seeing with others, how about a screen markup like that in Diigo for sharing annotations? Even better if it could be done in real-time!

Now this prototype is cool, no doubt, but is it really the nextgen browser? Where are we heading and what will the nextgen browser really look like and what will it do for us?

Heck at this point I’d be happy for a browser that doesn’t suffer from memory bloat like Firefox and Flock.

[tags]mozilla, coop, browser[/tags]

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