Rockmelt Beta made its way into the market over the last few weeks and social was the name of the game; access was only granted through Facebook invites that made the rounds via influencers over time. The alliance with Facebook is strong, a Facebook login is required as is granting full access to your profile. Keep this in mind as it plays a role in both the positive and negative opinions on the browser.
In order to gauge the response to Rockmelt over multiple social media channels I used HowSociable.com (HS) which according to the creators (inuda.com) “… provides a simple way for you to begin measuring your brand’s visibility on the social web.”
The key things you get with HS are:
1) a dashboard that counts all the mentions in multiple social media channels including Reddit, Facebook and Twitter.
2) a score generated on a proprietary scale of how visible a brand is. I am not clear on how this score is arrived at other than averaging all the mentions and likely weighting the more significant channels more highly.
I did find it frustrating that HS did not give any context into what would be a good score. I do see the measure as useful for week over week tracking of your progress in the social media space once a baseline was established or for comparing yourself to competitors. It does lack something if you are just looking at a score in isolation however.
For my trial with Rockmelt HowSociable spit out a visibility score of 120. At that point I had to get some context so put some other brands into the index. Nike had a score of 2596 and Google Chrome was 1161 so I could begin to deduce that given Rockmelt’s recent launch in the marketplace it has not established the visibility level of these well established brands. It would be great if there were some metric in HowSociable to help you evaluate what a good score is at a certain period of time in your company lifecycle, based off historical data for visible companies.
HowSociable (HS) did bring my attention to conversations about Rockmelt that I may not have found otherwise. I do like how HS loaded the relevant content right into a pop-up window within the HS site if I chose to view the mentions. This function only worked about half the time however which is not good. When I clicked to see the 14 tallied mentions of Rockmelt on MySpace, the MySpace search results that it brought up said there were no results for Rockmelt. So which is it 14 or zero?
All and all for a free tool HowSociable is useful to help you find some mentions of your brand you may otherwise have missed. It is definitely necessary to supplement your scan with other tools, even as simple as Google-ing the term and checking out other mentions.
As far as determining user sentiment, I would be great if HowSocialble.com could build in some A.I. to evaluate the sentiment of the mentions it finds and give a net measure on the positive to negative scale. Perhaps this is available in the pro tool but since I was trying the free version and wanted to know if people were generally positive or generally negative about Rockmelt, I had to do some qualitative evaluation on my own. Here is a summary of conversations I found on Rockmelt and my take on the sentiment 1) per conversation and 2) overall as of November 21st for the new social media browser.
1. Digg – Users that commented were positive about the functionality in general but nervous about the privacy implications, citing that it would open people up to having all their search and browsing information bundled in with their Facebook profile creating a rather intimate snapshot of them for Facebook marekting partners. Ex.:
enantiodromia12 days ago
This is the app that if my friends use it, it gets all my Facebook data without asking me, right?
2/3. Facebook – While most comments were positive on the official Rockmelt fan page most objections did hinge on privacy intrusions. Ex.: Ivan White I do not understand why you find it necessary to want to have access to my entire facebook information. Is there a reason for this, as I will now not use your browser due to that. It is not necessary at all!
4. Twitter – It can be said that the twittershpere was abuzz with discussion of the topic and Rockmelt was engaging users by answering their questions via Twitter. According to analysis using twendz.com the general sentiment was positive with only 12 to 20% of tweets deemed to be negative.
5. Forums – Negative comments could be found on forums serving more technically savy users they were less impressed with the new functionality stating that much of what Rockmelt does has been available in Google Chrome extensions for some time. However even though Beta was superior to VHS and came out before, it achieved wider uptake and won out. Perhaps Rockmelt will have the mass market appeal even though it is a repackaging of what has come before. Ex.: “…giving it access to facebook. mmmmmm I’ll bet the sole purpose of this “browser” is to get info from people. a very easy lure to steal info from others. that’s all.”
6. Blog – Violet Blue from ZDNet had generally positive things to say about the interface but very negative things to say about its integration with Facebook: “When we clicked “accept” to let it share information with Facebook, there was that overwhelming creeping feeling of realizing that the dark soul-snatchers gathering our personal information at Facebook were now going to have even more information about us. Like, our search and browsing habits — accidental or otherwise.”
7. Vimeo – I would not have thought to check video sites for opinions if it were not for HowSociable.com. This review from MikeStrenger.com was positive and Mike did not report any performnace issues was essentially neutral, talking about the features objectively. Ex:. “And as far as viewing RSS feeds I absolutely love this as it puts everything in a really nice format.”
8. Blog – An early post on the Techi.com blog had a very negative sentiment about Rockmelt and some wild speculation. What was interesting to see was the community responded to the authors sensationalism by refuting some of his points logically: “As to Mowery’s assertion that it “could be something more serious like Facebook actually blocking Rockmelt”. Uhh, let’s see. I. Zuck’s #1 initiative right now is expanding the reach of FB Connect…see recent Social Fund announcement with Doerr. II. Andreessen is on the board of FB. III. Logically, FB loves the fact that a browser has been built with the sole purpose of expanding FB’s reach. IV. FB connect is notoriously difficult Hey Mowery, get informed…talk to developers!”
9. My take – In the brief time I have been using Rockmelt my opinion is that it definitely results in greater interaction with social media communities I am a part of, I updated my status twice in two days and that was my previous monthly record! I do find it distracting to have various community contacts direct messaging me and the like as my browser needs to be on for many daily activities and I can’t avoid the SM distractions by closing down Tweet Deck for example if Rockmelt is my default browser.
Overall Visibility and Engagement Level
All and all the level of online engagement is high and I would say the overall sentiment is consistent with the Twendz evaluation of Rockmelt related Tweets. The majority of comments are positive, some people question the usefulness/uniqueness or desirability of having Social Media integrated into your browser. The primary negative objections are privacy concerns which seems to be the case with any app associated with Facebook.