ubiquity n : the state of being everywhere at once (or seeming to be everywhere at once)

I just happened to see a tweet from Ed Dale in his Friendfeed display on the Thirty Day Challenge training page a little while ago.  Since I was just starting my lunch, I did what he said to do:

“do a search on Ubiquity by Mozilla – very very very cool”

And Ed is right – it’s super-cool.  (Thank you for finding cool stuff to tweet about Ed)

From their site:

“The overall goals of Ubiquity are to explore how best to:

  • Empower users to control the web browser with language-based instructions. (With search, users type what they want to find. With Ubiquity, they type what they want to do.)
  • Enable on-demand, user-generated mashups with existing open Web APIs. (In other words, allowing everyone–not just Web developers–to remix the Web so it fits their needs, no matter what page they are on, or what they are doing.)
  • Use Trust networks and social constructs to balance security with ease of extensibility.
  • Extend the browser functionality easily.

………………….

The Ubiquity Add-on allows you map and insert maps anywhere; translate on-page; search amazon, google, wikipedia, yahoo, youtube, etc.; digg and twitter; lookup and insert yelp review; get the weather; syntax highlight any code you find; e-mail from your g-mail account, and a lot more.”

When you have a chance, you can learn more about it by clicking here

And you can get it by clicking here and scrolling down the page a bit.

(By the way, I just had to use Ubiquity to “define scrolling” just to make sure I was spelling it right – oh, and I used it to “define ubiquity” above too.  In both cases, I was able to avoid interrupting my workflow – and I think that is the point.)

One more thing – I started using Flock 2.0 beta today – so far, so good.  Ubiquity is working flawlessly.

Feel free to add your comments and/or share some “social love.”

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A Magnificent Symphony

Time to watch today’s videos: Approximately 31 minutes

Additional time to complete today’s action steps:

Depends on where you are with ideas. Assuming you’re all caught up as you begin this day, you could spend thirty minutes on ideas…or 2-3 hours exploring…

Thirty Day Challenge PDF Transcripts are also available below each video.

Day 01 Introduction Video | Thirty Day Challenge

And so it begins…

2008TDC01_Intro_Day1

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A Magnificent Symphony In Four Parts…

2008TDC01_Four_Parts_1

The Key Concepts:

1) Market/Keyword Research

2) Traffic

3) Conversion

4) Product

If you follow these steps, in this order – the market will tell you what they want to buy. You’ll be in a position to offer them a product they are already prepared to buy. And that’s a good place to be…

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Tools Of The Trade…

2008TDC01_Tools_Of_The_Trade_2

Make sure you’ve installed the Thirty Day Challenge Toolbar.

It’s a good idea to go through and catch up on any Preseason training you may have missed – you can do that from the Preseason Catch Up Page.

Things to get and/or get familiar with:

Flock

Twitter and Twhirl

Google Reader

StumbleUpon

YouTube

Google Subscribed Links

Friendfeed

The Video Tips

and The 30DC Forums

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The Getting Of Ideas…

2008TDC01_Get_An_Idea_3

A great place for getting niche ideas is Amazon’s Magazines and Newspapers area.

Try to come up with 5-10 different niche ideas. You don’t have to be an expert, just curious…

One way to begin keeping track of information relevant to your niches is to search through Google News and use Google Alerts to create feeds for your Google Reader.

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If you followed along with the last Thirty Day Challenge lesson – or signed into Google Reader using your Google account, you should now have a blank Google Reader in front of you. Ed’s video is viewable below:

Google Reader – RSS Feed Reader

Like Ed says – We need to fill up our Google Reader with “RSS feeds.”  What does that mean – and what are they?

RSS is one of those “buzzwords” on the internet.  Originally, the acronym RSS stood for RDF Site Survey – where RDF stands for Resource Description Framework.  (You know it is getting complicated when you have acronyms within acronyms.)  It’s also been referred to as “Rich Site Survey.”  More recently, the term “Really Simple Syndication” has been associated with RSS.  To keep things simple, let’s assume we mean “Really Simple Syndication” when we talk about RSS here.

Almost every blog or website you see, news services, friendfeed, even twitter – they offer information as an RSS feed.  It’s a way to distribute or syndicate information.  RSS feeds are a simple way for you to stay completely informed about your particular niche, or about any topic or hobby you may be interested in.  You’ll be able to process so much information and leverage that knowledge in ways that will literally blow your mind as you continue this year’s thirty day challenge.

But not until we add some RSS feeds to this blank page.  The first thing we should double check is our feed set-up in Flock.  So go to the Tools menu and Options for PC or the Flock menu and Preferences for Mac.  From there, go to the “feeds” tab and make sure that we select “subscribe to the feed using” – Google.

Setting up the \

Next up watch the Google Reader Intro video on your log-in page….

Done yet?  It’s not very long….

Okay – let’s go find some feeds…

The first and most obvious choice would be the Thirty Day Challenge Blog.  So let’s go there, if you installed your Thirty Day Challenge Toolbar, you can use the handy link there – otherwise go to: http://www.thirtydaychallenge.com/blog

Once there, look up by your web address bar – you should see that RSS icon glowing orange.  This indicates the presence of an RSS feed on the current page.  (Flock makes it pretty obvious.)

Google Reader - 30DC RSS feed

You simply click that orange button to view the drop-down menu of available feeds – then click on the “Thirty Day Challenge” feed.  (Just like in the video.)

Up pops your Google options and you could either add the feed to your iGoogle home page or to Google Reader.  For today, we’ll focus on adding the feed to Google Reader…

Google Reader - Add To Google Reader

A sharing option pops up – we won’t get into that aspect for now.

Google Reader - Share With Friends

In future training, we’ll learn more about this feature and how teams can utilize it.

You now have the Thirty Day Challenge feed in your list.

Google Reader - Subscribed to Thirty Day Challenge Blog

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Let’s go find another feed – how about Ed’s Twitter feed:

You can find it here: http://www.twitter.com/Ed_Dale

Google Reader - Ed_Dale On Twitter

Locate the orange RSS button by your web address bar – click it.

Google Reader - Ed Dale Twitter RSS Feed

Then select/click one of Ed’s twitter feeds – add it to Google Reader, and there you have it – your second feed for Google Reader.

Google Reader - Subscribed to Ed Dale Twitter Feed

Let’s find some more to add – how about a funky “Summize” search.  Go to: http://summize.com/

Google Reader - Summize

This is a search engine that allows you to search Twitter in real time.  You can run a search for a particular term, in this case it’s “#30dc” – but what it you searched for a niche-related term? Think about it – you would know about current conversations going on about your niche or area of interest – very powerful stuff…

Back to the #30dc search:

Google Reader - Summize Search #30dc

Up comes a feed containing every tweet containing “#30dc” and lo and behold – there’s an RSS feed available.  Time to click the orange button, select the feed and add it to Google Reader.

Google Reader - Subscribed to Summize #30dc Feed

**Bonus time – if you actually watch the video, you learn about the “installable search engine.”  You can install the summize search engine and make it usable from your Flock search box.

Google Reader - Summize Installable Search Engine

Go ahead – click that little orange button – you know you want to…

Google Reader - Summize Search Engine f/video

If you just hover over it long enough, it’ll tell you what to do – “Click to view installable search engine”

Google Reader - Summize Search Install Button

Just click it and allow Flock to install the Summize Twitter Search Engine to your search engine pull-down menu.

It’s located in the upper right corner of Flock – and once you’ve installed the summize search engine to Flock, you can run a search on Summize, directly from your browser.  Just select the “Summize Twitter Search” from the search engine pull down menu in the upper right corner of Flock.

Google Reader - Summize In Search Menu

In this example, Ed uses the term “trout fishing” – he runs the search and adds the feed to his Google Reader.  Now, maybe “trout fishing” isn’t your niche – but you can run a search for your own niche keyword or phrase and subscribe to that feed.

Google Reader - Summize Results For Trout Fishing

Let the potential of that sink in for a while – for our next example, let’s use Google.  What happens if you just run a Google search for “trout fishing?”

Google Reader - Google Results - Trout Fishing

Pretty typical – let’s look up at our address bar…

Google Reader - Google Results - No Feed

Bummer, there’s no feed available for Google search results – BUT – if you click on the <more> menu and go down to
the <even more> option – you find “Alerts” at the top of the list on the left side.

Googler Reader - Google Alerts

Click “Alerts” – type in your keyword or phrase and create a Google Alert.

Google Reader - Create Google Alert

From the “manage alerts page”, click on the link to the “trout fishing” alert.

Google Reader - Manage Google Alerts

and grab that feed from the RSS button by your address bar.

Google Reader - Google Alerts Feed

You know what to do from here….

In the past, I’ve had these alerts e-mailed to me once a day – sometimes that can add dozens of extra e-mails a day.  Now, I can just add the RSS feed for the alert and add the feed into my Google Reader, freeing up some space and some time in my inbox.

A word of caution – you can go crazy with this.  So be careful not to go overboard at first.  Make sure you have the Thirty Day Challenge blog in your Google Reader.  We’ll learn a few more feeds to track in future lessons.

I suppose you could add the feed from this blog too – no pressure…

For those who participated in the Thirty Day Challenge last year – we learned how to use Bloglines.  You will see in the next couple of lessons why we’ve made the switch to Google Reader.  Pause and think about the awesomeness of this next few lines…

As you think about your niche, and begin to add related feeds to your Google Reader – you’ll see a paradigm shift in how you’re using the internet.  Instead of running around in circles, searching out information on the internet – you set up feeds and the information comes to your feed reader.  How’s that for making your time online more effective?

And in the next few lessons you’ll learn how to “churn and burn” through that information in a productive and effective way.

One other thing Ed mentions – you could track Ed’s feed, the sites he subscribes to.  That list of feeds is available as a feed as well.  Why would you want to do that?  Oh, I don’t know, maybe there’s something to the idea of modeling successful people if you want to become successful…Food for thought…

The next lesson promises to be a life-changer – or at the very least a big time-saver.  So stay tuned…and go give somebody a hug.

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In this lesson – we’re going to learn more about how to use Twitter.   We learned previously how to get a Twitter account and received a basic overview of how the Twitter website looks and works.  But there are better ways to make use of Twitter.

It’s about your work flow.  And this lesson introduces a service that allows you to use Twitter and minimize the interruptions to your work flow.  Here’s Ed Dale’s video:

The Best Twitter Client Is Twhirl

The Flock Browser already has a built-in Twitter client.  You can open your “people” sidebar and see the latest “tweets” from people you’re following. (Like Ed, Dan and Bob – you know – from that last post…you did follow them like you were supposed to, right?)

Aside from getting news quickly from the people you’re following, you can also send your own tweet and update your Twitter page right from Flock’s built-in Twitter client.   One other function built-in is the “post a link” option.  Ed doesn’t use it – it can be a pretty big workflow interruption, and he shows how in the video.

To post links, we’ll use one of the add-ons we loaded in this earlier post:

Preseason 03c – Extensions To Install In Flock

Let’s get going with TwitterBar – assuming you’ve already installed TwitterBar, you’ll need to do some set-up.  For whatever reason, Flock doesn’t seem to think TwitterBar is compatible with Flock.  But it does seem to work, at least for Ed (and me.)

In the video, Ed shows how to do this on a MAC.  I have a PC, so I’ll show you the steps to set up your TwitterBar.

On a PC click on the <Tools> menu – then <Add-ons>.  From there, find “TwitterBar” in your Add-ons menu.  Click on the <Options> button.

On a MAC click on the <Tools> menu – then <Add-ons>.  From there find “TwitterBar” in your Add-ons menu.  Click on the <Preferences> button.

Up pops a dialog box.

TwitterBar Dialog Box

1) Ed leaves his in “secure mode” – so did I…

2) Fill in your Twitter username and password.

3) You can type in your own message in the “Before URL” field – the default is “Currently Browsing:”

At this point, there’s no compelling reason to change this.

4) “Open Twitter in a new tab” – leaving this unchecked helps keep you IN your work flow, that is the point, right?

5) Last option – “Hide addressbar button” – but we want that displayed.  Having that button up in our address bar also helps us minimize work flow interruptions.

And that’s it – you should now be able to post to Twitter directly from your browser address bar.

In the video, Ed shows us how to post a link that points to the Twhirl website – it’s really a simple, quick and effective way to let your Twitter followers know about a page or URL that you’re looking at.

One additional item worth mentioning, Twitter posts (Tweets) are limited to 140 characters, like a text or SMS message.

To re-cap, you can view Twitter and post to Twitter from the “people” sidebar built-in to Flock and you can post interesting links to your Twitter account right from your browser address bar.  Two ways to use Twitter without going to the Twitter website.

If you’d like to practice, go up to your address bar and post the link for this page to Twitter – right from your address bar. 🙂

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Onward to Twhirl…

Twhirl - A Twitter Client

Twhirl is an exceptional Twitter client application.  It’s built on the Adobe Air platform, which means it is compatible with MAC, PC and Linux systems.

Adobe Air

So – let’s download and install Twhirl…

Download Twhirl

Once it finishes downloading, just follow the prompts to finish the Twhirl installation.

Twhirl - Installation Dialog

Once installed, your Twhirl application will open up.

In the video, Ed touches on another application called “FriendFeed” I’m sure he’ll be covering that in a later lesson.

Ed also mentions “The Trouble With Twitter” – yes, they’re experiencing some growing pains.  Over the last few months the Twitter user base has expanded on a pretty massive level. There’s been some questionable press about it – but Ed makes a valid point about other internet technologies like e-mail and early ICQ and instant messaging apps.

They went through growing pains too.  I suppose if there were a mass exodus, maybe the technology would fade out – but it’s very unlikely that will happen.  Micro-blogging and Twitter-type applications will just get more popular over time, just like e-mail and text messaging.

You will have to do some set-up to integrate Twhirl with your Twitter account.  Here’s how:

1) Go to the “Settings” menu – it’s the little button in the upper right that looks like a wrench.

2) Enter your Twitter username (and password when prompted)

That’s should do it – you’re set up with Twhirl.

Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to capture screen shots of the Twhirl application – it fades out when I try to do a screen capture – sorry.  Thankfully, there’s still the video for reference…

Ed mentions the possibility of multiple Twitter/Twhirl accounts for personal, private and/or “marketing persona” purposes.  But for now, unless you’re an experienced veteran – let’s keep it simple.

To re-cap on Twhirl:

1) Download and Install Twhirl

2) Enter your Twitter username and password into the Twhirl settings menu.

3) Make sure you’re following Ed, Dan and Bob

4) Since you have Twirl open – type in a quick post, maybe something nice about the thirty day challenge – or this blog – or just answer the question; What are you doing?

Bonus points if you tweet about hugging your kids… 🙂

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Today’s video shows several extensions (or add-ons) that we’ll be installing in Flock.  These extensions add certain functionality to Flock and alow us to leverage Flock for internet marketing purposes.  Before we get into the video and the add-ons – could I just say something?

If you haven’t signed up for the thirty day challenge yet – please do.  The training really is given freely, there is no obligation to buy anything after you sign up – not ever – and I will continue to post my own version of notes and tips here.  But there is so much more available on the forums and within the thirty day challenge community, you’re missing out on something if you’re not a part of it.

For instance, this particular lesson has a downloadable PDF file that goes with it.  It’s free to download if you’re a Thirty Day Challenge member – it’s not available if you’re not signed up…

I would call this blog my own version of “Cliff Notes” for the 2008 Thirty Day Challenge.  I used Cliff Notes for certain subjects in high school and college – they served their purpose, I could get a passing grade on those tests.  But I know I missed out on the full experience when I took that shortcut – I cheated myself out of fully learning something by relying on the Cliff Notes alone.

Don’t cheat YOURSELF out of the full Thirty Day Challenge experience – go sign up at this link (if you haven’t already) Thirty Day Challenge – and then come back here for more of these notes…I’ll get off my soap box now…onward to the Flock add-ons:

Pimping Out Flock For Fun And Profit – But Mostly For Profit

Here’s Ed Dale’s video from YouTube…

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And here’s an easy to follow list of the add-ons, complete with links to go get ’em – so go get ’em…

Google Global

This extension allows you to view search results from other parts of the world – this will be something you can take advantage of later in the thirty day challenge.

Go To Google Global Flock Add-on

Google Notebook

Allows you to research and make notes without leaving your browser – a brilliant way to help with niche research.  Having a Google account is something you’ll need going forward – Ed will be showing us how pretty soon…

Go To Google Notebook Add-on For Flock

SEO for FireFox/Flock

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization – This is a pretty deep tool.  You’re able to get a lot of interesting data by using this add-on.  Install it for now, but leave it off.  Ed mentions the red lines-no follow tags in the video.  For now, it’s not a big deal – he’ll show us how to use it when the time is right.

Go To SEO For FireFox Add-on For Flock

SearchStatus

Another tool that is helpful in niche research – SearchStatus.

Go To SearchStatus Add-on For Flock

StumbleUpon

This one is very helpful way to let people know about great sites – and to let people know about YOUR sites.  Ed will show us more about how to use it soon…

Go To StumbleUpon Add-on For Flock

TwitterBar

This is a handy way to post to Twitter – with fewer clicks.  Instead of interrupting your work flow – you can type directly into your address bar and post that text to Twitter.  As a bonus, it shortens URL’s for you too.

Go To TwitterBar Add-on For Flock

Thirty Day Challenge Toolbar

The 30DC Toolbar is a big time saver for Thirty Day Challenge Members – it’s not critical that you install it – but it does give you access to a lot of well thought out tools specific to the Thirty Day Challenge.

Get The Thirty Day Challenge Toolbar

That’s it for now – feel free to leave us a comment below… Then, if you have kids – go give them a hug.  And if you are a kid – go hug your parents….Keep them guessing.

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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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Welcome to our first official blog post about the 2008 Thirty Day Challenge. Follow my 10 year old son and I as we learn how to make our first ten dollars online…

The 2008 Thirty Day Challenge

“Say Goodbye to FireFox”

As much as I like the FireFox browser – we’re being told to switch to Flock for the 2008 Thirty Day Challenge. I will most likely rebel and keep FireFox, I may even use it from time to time. But given the built in social networking capabilities of Flock – it does make sense use it for this year’s challenge.

You can watch Ed Dale’s video here:

Is Flock the best Internet Browser to Download?

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The video pretty much covers everything you need to know – however, I’ve written out the steps below to make it easier for my son and I to follow and refer back to later if we need to.

So how do we get the best web browser around? It’s pretty simple actually.

First – either do a search for “flock” on your search engine of choice, or go to: http://www.flock.com/

The Flock browser is built on the same code base as FireFox and is compatible with the major operating systems: Windows, Mac and even Linux.

At the time the video was recorded, Flock 1.2 was in Beta – but I just checked their site. It looks like it’s out of beta…

Once you’ve downloaded it, go ahead and install it. Ed showed it being installed on a Mac. We’re still stuck with our PC’s for awhile, but the process was painless on both of our computers.

Now that it’s installed – go ahead and run it. Take a look at the video tours that show you an overview of the major benefits of using Flock as your web browser.

One word of caution – for the purposes of the Thirty Day Challenge, we won’t be using the built in feed reader that comes with Flock. We’ll use Google Reader and Ed will teach us more about that in upcoming videos.

P.S. Whew! – I did it. Since I’m fairly new to this feel free to leave a comment – keep in mind, I am blogging this mainly for the benefit of my 10 year old and myself. So take it easy on us 🙂

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