Monday, April 25, 2011

Anybody tried Rockmelt yet?

I'm always up for improvements in my online experience, but I try to be really selective about what I change/download/try. Because Lord knows, once you download a stubborn piece of software, the entire Internet (especially Google) knows. And you will be seeing reference to it everywhere.

Rockmelt is one of the few new things on the block that I've really wanted to try. (BTW, that's a link to the SF Chron's business section's article on Rockmelt; the business section has an official Social Media section now, it looks like.)

I wanted to try it so much after reading that article, I actually closed Chrome for a minute so I could download it and give it a whirl. That's a big deal for a person who keeps two laptops open with 20+ tabs going in Chrome each.

So that's the first thing I had to contend with-- I couldn't have my regular browser open when trying Rockmelt.

To back it up a sec: What is Rockmelt? It's a new browser that aims to manage your daily social media interactions in a way that's easy to see, well-organized-- and totally different from the current one website-per-tab way of doing things. From the article:
"We're seeing a renaissance in browsers," said Al Hilwa, an analyst with technology research firm IDC. "It feels a lot like 1999 again."

1999?! Woo hoo!

Right now, I have Hootsuite open in one tab, Facebook in another, Gmail in another, Flickr and YouTube, HuffPo, etc etc. One site per tab. That's how I've been raised, dagnabbit.

Rockmelt is another way of looking at it, literally. Instead of separate pages, siloing your user experience, you've got everything in front of you in one view. In a way, it's brilliantly brand-new-- you can see what's happening across social media platforms. In another way, it retains just enough features of an established browser so you don't feel completely out of your element (I can have multiple tabs open!).

Right after I downloaded it, I couldn't re-open Chrome without crashing it, which was sad since I use my tabs like a to-do list (thus Really Rely on them). But since then, it seems to have no trouble with Chrome being open while Rockmelt is also open.

It also didn't let me sign into Facebook to respond to friends, which was funny since that's *the* way you utilize this thing. It seemed a little finicky.

But. NOW. I don't know if I should swoon yet, but... I just tried sharing a page with a friend via Rockmelt and it seemed to work like a charm. She'll let me know if she actually gets it. :)

And I love the inconspicuous but handy menu in the upper-left, which is essentially a handy combo of a File and Tools/Options dropdown.

I've got some more road-testing to do, but it's speedy and lovely so far. Would love to hear how others are finding it, if you've given it a whirl!