November 8, 2010 by Post Team
Rockmelt, If you are going to create a new browser from scratch and go against Google, Microsoft, Mozilla and Apple, you might as well make it really different. RockMelt, a company backed by Netscape founder Marc Andreessen, who has been under wraps until today, is trying to build a new browsing experience from scratch. Are you crazy? “The most important thing,” Andreessen says, “is that the browser world is very volatile at this time.”
RockMelt be built first to share. You browse your friends (the first thing to do is log on to Facebook and your favorite friends and their latest status updates are always available along the left lane). And there is great “Share” button up top, you can share any web page, along with images and preview on Facebook. It could be defined as a Facebook browser, but it’s really more than that. I’m going into my full review shortly, but if you’d like RockMelt for yourself, be one of the first 500 TechCrunch readers to click on this link and you will get an invitation before anyone else).
The three major changes in the browser you RockMelt note is that it is built around friends, feeds, and search results. The left lane is for a friend. The right lane is for sites. And the upper is for the search.
Your friends on Facebook do with it along the left lane. You can select your Facebook friends are more important or more, and their faces are always there with you, together with an indication of whether they are connected or not. If more of a face, their latest status update appears. click the face and you get a chart showing the sequence of Facebook in the upper half and a chat window at the bottom. Therefore, acts as an instant messaging client for Facebook chat (see image below). You can even get online and video images that do not generally fall within the Facebook chat. If your friend is online, you can send him or her a message on Facebook.
Along the right lane is where you organize all your news sources and streams of your favorite sites. This is a kind of bookmark bar, but when you save a site here, also includes the content of the notifications of all new time is added. This is very suitable for news sites, blogs, Gmail, Twitter and their own Facebook profile. (See screenshot below). Click the icon for a site, and up pops an overlay window with an RSS feed with all articles, or Twitter, or its owners by email, according to the site. Click on a title takes you to that page (or e-mail or tweet) in the underlying main browser window. There is also an action button for each feed point, which works like the share of large button on the top of your browser.
When you do a search in the search box, instead of taking Google, you get a column with the results of the first ten. You can tab through each result, which is pre-loaded in the browser, so you can actually see the web pages behind each result in the full browser. This is designed to accelerate the search, but initially at least I’m tabbing through each link, if only for a second or two.
In general, RockMelt seems fast. Chrome is built on the same open source browser that forms the basis for Google Chrome browser. Given the fact that is backed by Andreessen (and Ron Conway, Bill Campbell, Josh Kopelman, and Diane Green and the tune of 10 million euros) and its principal architect was also the main architect of the Netscape browser, it is a very significant vote of confidence in chrome as the future of navigation. “Chromium is a newer code base,” says Andreessen. “It is the state of the art. The performance increase is incredible.” It’s not one for nostalgia.
The basic navigation features are familiar, and distribution, transmission, and the pursuit of overlap does not seem too upset. It is not Flock, the browser of experiment that had never, as it strayed too far from the area most people the convenience of navigation. RockMelt face similar challenges, but at least you’re starting simple.
The biggest change is trying to introduce RockMelt is to bring in different streams as a natural navigation experience and point of departure. In fact, these overlapping stream (updates from friends, feeds, and even search results) to take over the screen all the time.
One and a half ago, when the whispers of RockMelt first appeared, I wrote a post with a list of features I’d like to see in a social browser. I am happy to say that some of them did in RockMelt one way or another. Since the wish list:
There would be multiple navigation modes, search, following social data flows, and the launch of Web applications
The home page would be a general reader who brings together real-time streams on the Web (which Facebook is now Friendfeed).
Instant messaging, e-mail and public messages (status updates and tweets) would always be accessible on the toolbar or sidebar
Would support a variety of web applications that could be implemented seamlessly into the browser without having to go to a website and log in.
Real-time alerts and web search (current news social, financial sites, sports sites, etc.)
Last week, I asked if he thinks RockMelt Andreessen is a harbinger of the end of the website. I would not go so far:
The main page is maintained in the coming decades. It is a universal canvas for any application or service. I think you want to keep, but want to improve. That’s why we keep the front and center, but he says these things people care about: friends, feeds, updates, search results.
Perhaps that is true, for now. But over time, the current takes over. It is simply a more efficient way to navigate.
But here’s the thing about RockMelt. Sign in him and know where you go on the Web, all your friends are, and what are their browsing habits. He also knows what you share with your friends. Combining these three: social interaction, search and browsing behavior real, and you have a hell of a way to target ads to people. RockMelt not do it now, and its founders say I never will, since it would destroy all that the people trust them. (Damn straight.) “We will run an ad network. I really do not know where to go,” says co-founder Tim Howe, “that the information does not leave your browser.” I hope it never will.
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