Is Rockmelt a Social Meta Network? (III)

I learned a new term today: Meta Social Networks.

Social meta networks are “Web 4.0”, (I know just when we though point-0s were dead). They are basically what the buzz is about now, social aggregators or personalized profiles. It’s where your computer’s IP address is replaced by an OpenID style “profile” of who you are, identifiable on logging in from another source you use, be it a public computer, private laptop, tablet or mobile phone. This unique identifier is compatible on all your social network platforms, from Facebook to LinkedIn, to blogging, and the 1,000 other apps out there.

Its the Holy Grail of Web 4.0, and everyone from Google to Apple wants to be the one to develop it. At internet week I heard a KOL call Facebook “a reincarnation of the web”. If we consider the web to be a giant network of communication, with your computer being the original “ID”, and then translate that into Facebook being a giant connection and your profile your “ID”, well there you go, the new web.

What Bing’s search engine, Google’s Chrome, OpenId, Yahoo’s profile and everyone else wants to do is create their own user interface with this network, with Facebook a integral part, but not the all-encompassing web. I think Facebook dominating the internet is about as likely as Chinese democracy: Theoretically feasible, but in such a far distant future, needing so much change to get there, it’s an impractical idea to plan off. Rockmelt however seems to planning on this:

Rockmelt’s strongest point is its ability to organize and navigate Facebook effectively.
I like how the windows pop up when you click on the Facebook icons on the side. It makes going back and force with Facebook really easy. I would love it if the Twitter navigation was as sophisticated. You can then click on someone’s name to get their “livestream”, which really isn’t a “lifestream” in the sense of AOL’s original concept, because it only includes their Facebook feed, but it’s still useful.

So in order to share my Rockmelt invites via Facebook with Twitter friends, I had to make them Facebook friends. You will remember I am a high-low, black-white, professional-private kind of person: I like boxes and labels, so I keep two Facebook profiles, one for employers and Twitter friends to access, (and my mom’s circle), the other for my “IRL”, in real life friends from college and my wild crazy party life, (ah hem). This meant I also had to send regular Facebook friends to my pro network in order to forward them invites.

Three annoying things about Rockmelt:
1. I realized you need to restart your Rockmelt browser when you friend someone and re-log in before the browser “recognizes” the friendship and adds them to your sidebar and streams.

2. Facebook doesn’t seem to like it or acknowledge it (kind like the PRC and Taiwanese sovereignty). Everytime I log in Facebook sends multiple messages to my email account saying “Rockmelt is accessing your account”. There’s no way to stop these messages, it just says “ignore this if this was you”.

3. The browser quits when it feels neglected. I don’t know if this is a technical spasm which will be rectified, but the thing crashed on me without me touching it. (I was using Firefox.)


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