Have you tried RockMelt yet? Do you even know what RockMelt is?
RockMelt is a Social Browser
RockMelt is a browser designed to enhance your internet experience by integrating your social networks with your more mundane internet surfing. Currently available only by invitation, RockMelt is taking on giants like Firefox, Internet Explorer, Chrome and other more established browsers. I got my invitation about a month ago and have been playing around with RockMelt since then. Visit http://RockMelt.com to get your invitation through your Facebook profile. Here is my review of the product. You’re welcome to add comments regarding your experiences.
What’s New About RockMelt
What makes RockMelt unique are the social links on either side of the browser. On the right are icons reflecting your social networks and frequently accessed websites. On my browser, I have my Facebook and Twitter accounts, as well as this blog and those by Mashable and AllFacebook, which I consult regularly. When new Tweets, Status Updates, or Blog posts appear on these networks, RockMelt lets me know by inscribing a small number in the appropriate icon. I can select to icon to see a brief view of the update. RockMelt also lets me know about these updates when I’m using the browser by flashing the brief view on the edge of the browser.
On the left side of the RockMelt browser are my friends Facebook profile pictures along with a designation of whether they’re active, inactive, or not logged in to Facebook. By selecting an icon, I can chat with the selected friend.
The main center of RockMelt is a traditional browser containing its own search engine (which RockMelt claims is faster). After you’ve been using RockMelt for a little while, the tab contains thumbnails of recently visited websites. This is convenient as you can simply click on the thumbnail to go to a recently visited site. As a visual person, I prefer thumbnails to a listing of my history.
Along the top of the browser are customizable news sources, such as Yahoo and CNN. In keeping with the social influence of RockMelt, the new sources include YouTube, Wikipedia, and other social sharing news sites.
Rockmelt is easy to install and if rather intuitive to operate. RockMelt contains most features of a standard browsers including bookmarks and history. I like the bookmarking feature as it is easy to categorize your bookmarks for easy retrieval.
RockMels also has social sharing on Facebook and Twitter as built-ins rather than add ons, as is common with existing browsers. Social sharing includes a URL minimizer which makes it easy to share with your social network.
I’m not a big chatter, but its interesting to see my friends profile pictures. I really enjoy seeing updates to my social networks and favorite websites. Since I work in a browser a lot, this is a great source of ideas for blog posts and keeps me current on what’s going on in the field.
While I really like RockMelt, I still use Firefox for lots of online activities for several reasons.
There a still a few bugs to be worked out of RockMelt. They have introduced an update since the beta launch to fix some of these problems, but some still remain. For instance, my Facebook newsfeed has stopped working. I could probably go in and reconnect RockMelt with my Facebook profile, but I just haven’t had the time. As to the websites I’ve included on the right toolbar, I get updates but can’t visit the website from the thumbnail. This isn’t much of a problem, but I like things to work reliably.
RockMelt doesn’t interface with LinkedIN. As a business consultant, much of my focus is on my LinkedIN network and LinkedIN groups. I’d like to have the same functionality with LinkedIN as I do with Facebook and Twitter. I guess they’re probably working on this interface, but it reduces the functionality of RockMelt for my business marketing.
Some websites don’t work right in RockMelt. So far, Blackboard has been the only website where I’ve encountered a problem, but I like things to work.
The most serious problem is the processing time required to keep RockMelt updated. I run an Apple and am not used to having issues like those experienced by my PC colleagues. Since installing RockMelt, I occasionally run into processing delays reflected by the spinning color wheel. This is annoying as I’m not the most patient person. So, sometimes I just quit RockMelt to get some things done.