If I could hand out an award for ‘Browser Least Likely To Be Used In The Workplace’, it would have to go to RockMelt. This is the next-gen web browser that combines the framework of Google Chrome with instant access to all your favourite social networks.
It's like a one-stop shop for all your virtual needs. I can't imagine your boss will be letting you install it anytime soon.
I discovered RockMelt on Twitter. It seemed that most of my friends had been receiving beta invitations to test the software long before I had even heard about it. And in any case, what exactly is one supposed to assume of a programme called RockMelt? Good luck getting that name to catch on.
RockMelt looks anything but clunky. It acts as a single pane window with the mission statement that users should be able to achieve everything they usually do online, without having to change the page.
In my opinion, this is not software that those who value their time should be installing. I've gone to extreme measures to force myself AWAY from Facebook. I've even installed a Firefox plugin that feeds me a giant ‘Access Denied’ error if I try to visit my wall during working hours. So I'm not quite sure what I'd gain from shoving trivial friend banter directly under my nose while I'm trying to work. It'd be like installing a circus in my office.
Of course, many people don't have the burden of actually having to work from their home computers. If you're simply looking to throw all your social networks together in one convenient browser mash-up, RockMelt is a dream come true.
The interface looks very similar to Chrome, which is no surprise given the open-source framework it's built on. Your screen is divided into three windows. The centre pane is your standard web browser. But, on either side, you can see panels including icons for your friends and various widgets for each social network that you've chosen to activate.
One of the neatest features of RockMelt is the ability to drag and drop images and videos directly on to your social profiles. If you find a cool image that your friends would enjoy, simply drag it to the left and you'll automatically deliver it to them. The browser also comes with a built-in chat feature so you can stay connected 24/7, whenever you're online. It sounds like a giant vacuum of productivity.
Regardless, I'm sure some people will be desperate to give the browser a test run. You can download it for free if you visit the RockMelt website. It was only released earlier last week, so be prepared for a couple of minor bugs. Personally, I'm going to stick to Firefox. Social networks distract me enough without being forced to run my business surrounded by a virtual cloud of them!
Martin Osborn is an affiliate marketer and blogger for Finch Sells, where he offers tips and practical advice for those looking to make money online. Martin began his career as a web developer in Central London, working primarily with digital agencies as technical support. He left to start his own marketing business at 21.