November 30, 2010 RockMelt Browser: First Impressions
RockMelt was introduced to me through word of mouth from a colleague at my agency. The message was simply put that I should check it out and from the link I was given, it seemed worth doing, after all it is designed for social media, sharing and keeping up with the gazillion updates from RSS feeds.
It is an amazing concept. Molding multiple elements into one browser. But first thing is first: What is it?
RockMelt is essentially a beefed up Google Chrome with nice bells and whistles. It supports awesome functions like drag and drop sharing to Facebook friends which are on your left-side bar, making it easier to share with the people you care about. One the right-side bar, there are the sites that you subscribe to and show how many updates are unread and give you a pop up notification for each notification. If you prefer to not get pop ups notification for each subscription, you can easily change it. Take a look at the differences:
I want to bring up a few things that I noticed at first about RockMelt, I want to mention that I have only had this for a couple of days so it would be fair to do a follow up post later on.
Pro: One can easily drag and drop text, links, photos on Facebook friends. You can also share pages via Facebook and Twitter.
Con: Limited to Facebook and Twitter sharing.
Recommendations: Allow the user to pick and choose which networks to share to (Digg, Stumble Upon, WordPress, email etc…)
Pro: Organized and simple individual feeds from multiple sites that you subscribe to such as Twitter, Facebook, Blogs, Websites. Also, if you are viewing a page that has an available RSS feed to subscribe to, it will notify you and you can quickly add it to your right-side bar.
Con: None so far. However, I should note that the user should experiment to get a feel for how you are updated, updates can be come very cluttered.
Recommendations: Maybe allow for groups or lists
Pro: I use Google Chrome as my main browser so it was an easy switch. It is easy to share and effortless to customize who I wanted on my Facebook bar (left-side bar) and what subscriptions I wanted (right-side bar).
Con: I have noticed there are a few minor bugs with the browser. I have had a few lock-ups but not sure if it was the browser’s fault or me over-experimenting with the functionality. Again, minor and not constant. Many new things are not flawless, a few minor bugs are acceptable. They will probably be fixed soon.
Recommendations: New features to merge with tools to adapt to the constant change of the web, BUT, give the user the ability to turn on/off features or customize which ones to use.
Pro: If you are a blogger, social media guru, journalist, or any profession in communication, this is very useful.
Con: If you are a student, this is very distracting, but you should have the maturity to avoid the distractions or turn them off if you are trying to type a 10,000 word thesis…
Recommendations: A practical browser is always a simple one. I recommended above with new features, but make sure they don’t clout the browser, unless you want to change your position on the “browser”.
RockMelt is in a good direction. With the development of the Semantic web, RockMelt saw this great opportunity and approached it beautifully. The next steps will be to keep up with the developments in technology. I have not looked at other browsers such as Flock or Fizzik, so I can not say which is better. What I can tell you is, the one that sets trend changes will be the best. Much like Clay Shirky said about “when we change the way we communicate, we change society”, if we change the way we surf the web, we change how we interact.
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