When you’re surfing the web, do you find that you always have a tab open for Facebook? What about Twitter? And are you one of those people that hasn’t adopted RSS feeds for all the websites you read regularly? Want to be able to see everything in one place, without needing multiple tabs or software programs open? Then I have a solution for you.
What Is It?
Built on Chromium, Rockmelt has all of the features of Google Chrome with few additions. Most notably is the integration of social media.
You can post to Facebook and Twitter directly from the browser window without the need to open either one of those sites. Now only do you have your social media at your fingertips, there are numerous apps that can be added to the browser to make everything more convenient.
For those of you that manage multiple accounts, such as personal and business Twitter accounts, you can update both or either directly. You can also see Facebook notifications and messages in the browser’s header.
You can see in the picture above that there are two small sidebars. On the left is the Friends edge and on the right are apps and all of my RSS feeds.
The friend edge allows you to:
- See who is online
- Start a chat with a friend
- Add a friend to favorites
Having my feeds on the side of my browser:
- Shows me when each site is updated. in real time Keeps me from having to visit twenty or thirty sites everyday looking for new posts
- Let’s me go directly to the updated site
- Go directly to a specific blog post
Along with RSS feeds, I can also add apps. I am currently using
- Evernote Web Clipper
- Yahoo! Sports
How Do I Get It?
Visit Rockmelt.com to download and install. During the installation process you will be asked to sign into Facebook. Though not required, this is what really brings the browser to life.
I’ve Got It, Now What?
Let’s take a little tour. In the top left corner you will find Facebook friend requests, messages, and notifications. Just below that, on the far left, is a square box with a pen in it. Click this to add a status update to Facebook or Twitter, complete with shortened link and location if you choose. You can also see my favorites bar where I keep the web sites I visit most frequently. By editing the names, I can fit most sites on that bar so that I rarely even open my bookmark folder anymore.
On the top right corner you will find even more features and tools. In the address bar there is a star and a clock. The star lets you add a page to your favorites and the clock adds the page to View Later, accessible in the app edge. This saves the page when you don’t have time to read it immediately and want to come back to it without having to save it to your favorites.
To the right of that is the share button. This opens up a box where you can choose which social networks to share that page, automatically shortens the links, and shows a preview of the page with sample of the article. You also have the option of sharing your location.
Next to the share button is a bell icon. This is the quiet mode. If you need to work on something and don’t want to be distracted by Facebook notifications, page updates, or new Tweets, you can click the bell to enter quiet mode and hide all social media. Click it again to reopen the edges and Facebook notifications in the top left corner.
Is That It?
Pretty much. Once you add your RSS feeds and social networks, you’re ready to go. Make use of the quiet mode when you need to get some work done, and turn it off when you’re just surfing.
Because it’s built on Chromium, it’s faster than most browsers. But more than that, the integration of RSS, social networks, and Chrome apps, makes this a browser everyone can use.
Can you think of a reason why this wouldn’t work for you? I’d certainly be interested to hear about it in the comments.