- Is RockMelt the right web browser for social media enthusiasts?
- Using RockMelt with HootSuite and Feed.ly
- 8 ways to make RockMelt an even better social web browser
My initial tour of RockMelt turned up lots of great features, and while it can’t replace HootSuite and Feedly in my current workflow, it’s fantastic for day-to-day browsing and sharing. It’s awesome to dip into the latest New York Times stories, or most popular delicious links, simply by clicking on my sidebar. (Finally, a cure for the way the Internet encourages us to focus deeply on a single piece of content at a time, to the exclusion of everything else!) And I love how incredibly easy it is to share something I’m looking at with either Facebook or Twitter. For all my bookmarklet installing and browser extensions, I’ve never found sharing sites and blog posts to be so effortless.
Which is why I’d love to see RockMelt evolve in ways that make it even more useful. Some suggestions:
- Let me choose which network gets the position of privilege in the left-hand edge. I would much rather populate that edge with tweeps, rather than Facebook friends. (Hotter still: let me set rules so that I see my tweeps from 9-5 and my Facebook pals from 5-9!)
- Keep track of how I get to the pages I want to share. It would be HOT if RockMelt could remember that I read and tweeted this post of Twitter tips because I clicked on a link that Eric Andersen tweeted; when I follow that link, read the post, and click “share” in RockMelt, I want RockMelt to not only prepopulate the post title and short link, but to add a “via @eric_andersen” to the end of my tweet.
- Populate my left-hand edge from a Facebook list or Twitter list. I’ve spent a lot of time curating different lists of friends on different social networks, and as I discussed in this interview with Google’s Joseph Smarr, it drives me crazy when I can’t port these lists from network to network. I don’t want to make a new list of favorite pals for my RockMelt left edge; I want it to pre-populate with my Twitter “love” list or my Facebook “kid-sharing friends” list.
- Let me set the feeds for my social networks to focus on specific lists. The icons that appear in the right edge let me see the latest tweets or Facebook news items; in the pop-up for Facebook news items, I can filter by list so I only see the news updates from the people in my “NYC” list or my “kid friends Vancouver” list. But as soon as the pop-up closes, it forgets my filtering; I’d like that to remain sticky. I’d also like to do the same filtering by Twitter list, and to have the option of creating multiple icons for single social networks so that (for example) I can have a pop-up for my main Twitter feed and another for my “love” list.
- Let me schedule tweets. In my best-case scenario, HootSuite would offer an API that RockMelt could use to offer schedule tweets; or RockMelt would integrate the HootSuite “post to” interface as the thing you see when you click “share”. (That would not only give the user the option of scheduling tweets, but let you choose which account to tweet/update from.) Plan B: develop a scheduling option native to RockMelt, and make it rock-solid reliable even if my updates are scheduled to go out when my browser is closed.
- Bounty key browser extensions. Of the various must-have extensions that I tried to install, only Evernote’s web clipper worked flawlessly. Feed.ly and HootSuite’s Chrome extensions didn’t function (why? I’d love to know) and there doesn’t seem to be an option for installing 1 Password to RockMelt.
- Google Reader/iGoogle integration. It’s one thing to add a few feeds in the right-hand edge; it’s another to replace (or complement) a full-featured news reader. In my case, Google Reader will remain my news tracking hub: I’d love the option to import any or all of of my Google Reader folders as a separate icon in the right-hand edge, where clicking that icon will bring up the latest news items from all feeds in that folder.
- Add delicious to the “share” options. Just like you never forget your first browser, you never forget your first social web app. Delicious was my first social media love, and even though I can use my “post to delicious” bookmarklet to save bookmarks in RockMelt, the option of using that shiny “share” button to post to delicious would be a massive value add…especially if I could tweet & delicious in one go, and dispense with the vagaries of delicious-twitter integration.
The real question is whether I’ll make RockMelt my default browser in the absence of the above features. I’m inclined to give it a whirl, because it seems pretty clear that RockMelt will continue to grow. That’s the signal I got from the quick feedback I got on my tweet today. And if I’m responding with an awfully long wish list…well, apparently they’ve got a big team ready to deliver: