As someone who likes to, in a mixed-metaphor kind of way, kick the tires of shiny new things, when I read about the new web browser, Rockmelt, I downloaded it (thanks to a Facebook friend who was notified by RockMelt that I’d like an invitation — in RockMelt’s version of exclusivity marketing).
Here are some quick thoughts.
1. It’s nice, but I think if Marc Andreessen wasn’t involved, this would not be causing a blip of interest, even among hardcore geeks.
2. If Marc Andreessen wasn’t on the board of Facebook, we’d be wondering why anyone would do something that Google or Facebook could easily do themselves. (It may just be me, but RockMelt seems like a “build to sell to Facebook” concept.)
3. Don’t the people who might use RockMelt already have a 3rd-party social media app, client or service like Seesmic, Hootsuite, etc., with which they manage their social flow?
4. If you are easily distracted, do not download or use it. It’s entire purpose for being seems focused on distracting you from whatever it is you are supposed to be doing.
When I downloaded and launched it, the “edge” panels did not appear (which are the only things that make if different from Google Chrome). I had to quit the browser and relaunch it a couple of times before they would appear.
A sidenote observation:
The positioning quote of “why a browser, now” is this one from Mark Andresseen in the NYTimes story linked to above: “Had we known about Facebook and Twitter and Google back in ’92 or ’93, we would have built them into the browser…This is an opportunity to go back and do it right.”
To which, after using it, I would respond, “Are you sure you wouldn’t have just skipped the whole browser thing and gone straight to apps?”
Something I like:
The way they’ve used a photo of the development team to stress the “people” part of the product. While it looks a little “stock photo”-ish, it’s a great portrait and a nice touch.