Thursday, January 6, 2011


I will admit it, I have a problem.  I am a browser whore.  And not just any browser, I must use the latest shiniest new toy at all times, and I must adopt a superior attitude whenever anyone mentions having a problem with an inferior piece of software.  It started in 1998 when I discovered Opera.  Opera was my first, and as such it holds a special place in my heart.  Since then I have never had less than 3 browsers on my computer.  Quick name me 3 borwsers!  Most of you reading this can, but a quick count currently sees me with 6 browsers on my computer.  IE, Safari, Opera, Firefox, Chrome, and Rockmelt.  Listed in reverse order of preference at the moment.

Rockmelt is the latest "It" Browser.  Attempting to integrate social media into the browser.  It runs on Chrome's chasis but folds in extensions of it's own.  The advantage to that is like buying an option from a car manufacturer and having them put it in while building you car, compared to buying something after market and doing it yourself.  You can add a sunroof to nearly every car, with after market kits, but there are many good reasons why people don't do it.

Right now Rockmelt is still very very new, and as such is focused on the 2 big guns, Twitter and Facebook.  In fact it uses your Facebook log-in to allow your settings to carry with you from computer to computer.  The downside, is that plenty of people hate Facebook.  I have little doubt that Rockmelt will change and you will be able to choose the service you want to log-in with (myspace, google, yahoo, bing, etc...)

Because of the permanent extensions it is a bit heavier than Chrome, but for someone that uses Twitter and Facebook as much as I do this integration is more than worth the trade.  And the more I use it the more I realize that this format is an ever better fit for lighter users of facebook and twitter.  People who check either/both occasionally will have it there as a convenience, while someone like me has facebook open, so a sidebar update can be redundant.

It is not yet my sole browser, as Chrome had been since it came out, and Firefox before it.  Nor have I given up on Tweetdeck or Google Reader.  Although I can potentially see all three things happening if Rockmelt updates and adds the right features.  For people who are not as hooked on Google Reader as I am, the app sidebar is perfect.  If you have 5 sites you reload daily, stick them on the side and watch how easy it makes it to keep track of them.

And for those who like Facebook, or are at least pleasantly ambivalent about it, the integration within the browser is amazing.  Chat, updates, basically everything but games/apps are right there.

Sharing is the best part, and has the most room to grow.  You can send link's via Twitter and Facebook DM. No email yet, but they will figure out that email is not dead.

Twitter integration is nice and honestly, all that's missing is Tweetdeck's ability to RT in the old style.

For the type of user I am, it is great.  For the way I think most people use the internet, Rockmelt is a must have.

I have a few invites to hand out for those interested.  This one is a keeper.

Thanks for reading,
your hopeless browser whore,

PS - coda for more information.
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