Wednesday 10 November 2010

3 Days In: Some RockMelt Tips and Tricks

UPDATE: I have 50 Rockmelt invites, on a first come, first served basis. Click here for your invite! Sorry, all the invites were used in only 45 minutes...

It's been almost 3 whole days since I got hold of RockMelt, a new social media web browser. It has been fun playing with the new features, and I've learnt a few tricks that have made it more fun. I thought I'd share them here. This isn't a complete list, please let me know if you want to contribute your own tip.

Learn the lingo, get an edge

An "edge" is a simply a toolbar that appears at the edge of the screen. RockMelt has two edges out of the box, the friend edge (on the left) and the app edge (on the right).

The friend edge will show you either your friends that are online, or your favorites (more on that later). The app edge integrates with Facebook and other apps to shows you feeds (perhaps it should be called the feed edge?). Common feeds to have here are your Facebook feed, your Facebook notifications and your Twitter stream. You can also consume other feeds such as blogs or news. Read on for a easy way to choose your feeds.

Side note: Graph geeks amongst you may well have though an edge was a relationship between two friends - but no, in RockMelt, it's just a toolbar.

Share a link with a friend, in a couple of clicks

Like a page you're looking at? Want to share it with someone in particular? That's pretty easy.

Drag and drop the URL from the address bar (using the globe or the padlock ) onto your friend in the friend edge on the left. Then choose one of the options:

Type your own message, and your done!

Open search results in way that suits you

Take a close look at the search results pane, and you'll see two features you may find useful:
  • If you would rather open each search result in a new background tab, click on the small plus icon that appears when you move your mouse over each result.
  • If you decide you want to see your search results in one tab, just like a search in most other browsers, then click the "View in tab" link at the top.

I also use the arrow keys to quickly preview each result, then the enter key to go there.

Let RockMelt feed you

After a little while, RockMelt can start suggesting new feeds for you to consume. Use the browser for a few days, then use the the "Add Feeds" button on the app edge (on the right) to have RockMelt automatically suggest feeds for sites you've been using. Click the star next to a feed to add it to the app edge.

Get friendly with the address bar

You can get to your friend's Facebook profile pages easily in RockMelt. Just type their name into the address bar, click on the suggestion, then click on your friend's profile image that appears.

Pick favorites

Chances are you've got a lot of friends. Cut down the noise and choose some favorites. The easiest way is to add favorites is to:

  1. Click on the star in the online/favorite toggle button at the top of the friend edge.

  2. Click the "Show Friends" button towards the bottom of the friend edge.

  3. Use the search box to find the friends you really want to know about, then make them a favorite by clicking the star next to their name.

  4. (Optional) Unfriend everyone else. :-)

Business up front, party in the back

Being so connected to your friends is great, but what if you need to focus on your work and not get distracted? Use the Ctrl-Shift-Space key combo to take the edges off your RockMelt. Think of it as a modern-day Boss Key. If you want to hide just one of the edges you can use the Ctrl-Shift-LeftArrow and Ctrl-Shift-RightArrow to control your "friend edge" and your "app edge" respectively. The same key combo will bring them back.

Use your invites, wisely

RockMelt seems to give out an invite or two every couple of days (so far!) It also very cleverly suggests friends that have requested an invite, so hook a friend up, send them an invite - you're sure to get more. Use the "Open Invites" button to send invites to the friends who you know really want one.