I have a confession to make, I don’t have a Mac.  I would like a Mac.  I would really like one very much – but for now…I don’t have one.

When I ordered this laptop, they said – “Dude, you’re gettin’ a Dell.”  I’ve been happy with it so far – but when the time is right…I want a Mac.

Why should you care?  Because in today’s video, Ed talks about setting the preferences in Flock….and shows you how to do it on a Mac.  But, I don’t have a Mac – so, I’ll do my best to show it being done on a PC.  The differences are minimal anyway.

Here’s the video:

How to Configure The Flock Browser

First, we’re assuming you’ve already installed Flock.

Second – as a reminder, you should go through their tutorials to learn more about Flock and how to get the most out of it.

For current FireFox users – you may notice, some of your FireFox extensions come through.  But this session is mostly about how to set up your Flock options or preferences.

On a Mac, you would go to your >Flock>Preferences Menu.
On a PC, you would go to your >Tools>Options Menu.

Here’s what you’ll see on the Main Tab of the Options Menu:

Flock - Options - Main Menu

From here, we can set up things like: where Flock starts and your home page.  In addition, you can tell Flock how you want it to handle downloads – and you can make Flock your default browser.  Aside from forgetting to check the box to make Flock my default browser before I took that screen shot (whoops) – the picture above shows how I set up both computers for Stephen and myself…

Since the Thirty Day Challenge emphasizes action steps – here’s how I’d break this down

1) Select where Flock starts – Ed recommended the “Show my windows and tabs from last time option” – you can go back and play with this, even change it later if you’d like…

2) Enter the home page you’d like to start from, if applicable.  For instance, you might like to start with news from yahoo.com or google.com – wherever you’d like your browser to start…

3) Tell Flock how you would like it to handle downloads – check the “Show the Download…” box – tell Flock the default location you would like to save files to.

4) Make Flock your default browser.

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Moving right along to the <tabs> section:

Flock - Options - Tabs Menu

As Ed says, “Tabs are fantastic!”  He’s right – new pages should be opened in a new tab.  I agree with Ed – it’s easier to manage several websites from tabs, than to try and scroll through multiple windows.  Again, the settings shown above reflect Ed’s recommendations from the video.

Here’s the steps:

1) Click on the “new tab” option

2) Check both “warn me…” boxes

3) Leave the “Always show…” box unchecked.

4) Check the “When I open…” box. – So far, so good…

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Onward – to the <Content> Tab:

Flock - Options - Content Menu

I think all of these were left at the default settings, at least for me – but here are the steps.

1) Check the “Block pop-up windows” box

2) Check the “Load images…” box

3) Check the “Enable Javascript” box

4) Check the “Enable Java” box

5) Check the “Enable Digg flyout” box

You could play with Fonts & Colors – the video doesn’t really cover anything about “File Types” – which probably means, it’s irrelevant – at least for now…

Ed does mention that most of this right now is “technical set-up” stuff – we’ll be learning more about how to use it and why some things are done certain ways as we get into the challenge.

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Moving forward to the <Feeds> tab:

Flock - Options - Feeds Menu

THIS IS BIG!!! – It may seem like a little thing now, but you’ll see 🙂  We won’t be using the Flock Feed Reader – instead:

1) Click on the “Subscribe to the feed using” option

2) Choose “Google” from the list

Simple enough – it will become apparent later on how much time you just saved yourself.

Sidenote: Ed mentioned the term “Girly swots” – If you’re not familiar with that term, this might help:

Girly Swot

Someone who works extra hard, who goes that extra mile. If a typical thirty day challenger is looking for one, two or three umbrella phrases, the girly swot will be looking for a fourth. Now that I think about it, posting to this blog is kind of a “girly swot” thing to do…

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Next up – the <Searching> Tab:

Flock - Options - Searching Menu

It’s pretty obvious what this tab is going to be about – so here are the steps:

1) Select your default search engine – Ed picked Google, so did I…

2) For the “Live Results” – which is kind of a supplemental search – Ed recommends selecting the “Favorites and Recently Visited” and “Technorati” option.  He does make mention of using some of the other options – particularly for US users maybe trying to find items or products.

3) For the “Include In Search Elsewhere” – Ed had Ask, Google, Amazon, Wikipedia and eBay checked off – that’s all I could see from the video – feel free to play with these.

The more places you’re searching, the more results you’ll get – of course, that’s more data to have to sift through.  I guess it depends on how you want to look at it…

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Now, by way of demonstration – Ed shows us Michelle Macphearson’s Social Marketing Blog – I’m not sure if he was going to have us subscribe to her feed – or if it was just a way to demonstrate tabs.  But she does have a feed you can subscribe to – and she does know what she’s doing…

From there, Ed takes us to his Underachiever Life Blog – and shows us how to subscribe to his RSS feed and get that feed into Google Reader.

One more example – we zip over to the Thirty Day Challenge Blog – and get subscribed for that RSS feed as well.

This is all done with the assumption that you already have a Google Reader account – if you don’t – no worries.  We’ll learn all about getting a Google Reader account set up a few lessons down the road.  You can refer back to this post and use the links to get subscribed to those feed at that time…

Here ends the lesson – go hug your kids…

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