The RockMelt Browser: A Study In Consolidation

So I've been hearing about social browsers for some time now. And "no" I've not tried them. There's a bit of a caveat to that statement in that I have kicked the tires on Seesmic.com which claims to, "Manage your social networks everywhere, monitor & engage." Well besides sounding like a PowerPoint slide it had it's shortcomings IMHO and it's looking like to will be resolved in a more robust enterprise solution in the near future.

That being said, RockMelt has been making buzz recently with its 'invitation only' (didn't you learn anything from Google Wave people!) release of their beta "social" browser. And with that said I'm hear to tell you it's pretty darn good. Beyond just being attractive an app, especially a new app, must be easy to setup and get running. If not the app is dead before it hit the "run" command.

Additionally, the invite process is quite sexy in that once you've been given and invite, and you install it, you get to choose from your network of friends that have requested and invite. Booyah' -- instant connective social tissue on your product - holy smokes, that's brilliant. This way not only do I get to use it, I have a built in friend (that gave it to me) to chit-chat about it. Don't let this nugget escape you whom might be launching soon. The act of WOM is nothing without someone else to listen and have some education about the conversation, otherwise it's debating shoe styles with your wife or debating gas power tools with your cat. But I digress.

After plugging in your Facebook (FB) account the next thing you find is your almost up and running, short of defining any custom twitter accounts of RSS feeds. The browser imports yours FB friends, and pulls the anything else it can find from your account and does an admirable job assembling it.  I'd highly suggest you try this if part (or all of) your job is involved in communicating with your various networks.

The only "con" of the browser at this point seem to be speed of page build, it's good but it's not great. I'm certainly willing to overlook the download time due to it's other functionality, nevertheless, it will need to be addressed after the newness wares thin. Give it a shot, I'll be you like it!

ADDENDUM:

Well I've lived with the RockMelt browser all day and now I have a few more things to note:

  • I'm not fond of the way it treats searches at time – I still feel like I need my google bar (e.g. image searches, etc. are a bit more cumbersome)
  • There's a few site's it totally blew-up on - (e.g. Weightwatchers.com)
  • I like that I can additionally share posts that I have setup as feeds
  • When you perform a search and get the results you can click a link and it stays there so you can flip thru them without hitting back
Posted on November 9, 2010 and filed under Applications, Design, Social Media, Technology.