Eric Vishria is the co-founder and CEO of RockMelt, a social media web browser based on Google's Chromium. RockMelt is backed by Netscape founder Marc Andreessen and was introduced to the world about 3 months ago.
1. RockMelt has been called a "social browser" because it has unique features around sharing and connecting. What differentiates RockMelt from social plug-ins and features of other browsers?
We’ve spent a great deal of time analyzing how people are using browsers today and saw a lot of inefficiencies so we built RockMelt to make browsing simpler and more enjoyable. We understand why people may think of RockMelt as a social browser but the social features are only one part of what we’re building.
The sharing and chat features were must-haves because of how much people use social media. But we also recognized people visit their favorite websites multiple times a day and click back and forth while searching for information – that’s why we integrated automatic notifications of website updates (and built a whole set of back-end services in the cloud) and included lightning-fast search previews.
Feedback from users so far has been very positive and most note that they enjoy how RockMelt makes them more efficient and productive in managing their online activities.
2. What is your dream and vision for the company beyond the browser?
We want to make people’s online experiences as simple and enjoyable as possible. To do that, we’ll have to understand, keep up with, and - at times - help guide changes in web usage. RockMelt was created because the way the web is used today is radically different than it was even a few years ago, and we understand that usage will keep evolving over time.
3. What's the RockMelt experience like for people who have hundreds or maybe thousands of connections on Facebook and Twitter?
For those people who are “super users” and have hundreds or thousands of connections on Facebook/Twitter, RockMelt is well suited for them because it actually makes them much more efficient.
4. What new social features, applications and service can we expect to be added to RockMelt in the future?
Recently we upgraded to the latest release of Chrome 9 and released a YouTube App that lets people watch YouTube right from the App Edge. We have a lot of exciting apps coming, so stay tuned!
5. What's the story behind the name, logo and use of Chromium?
We get a lot of questions about our name, and the story is actually pretty simple. We knew we wanted a name that was short enough to be memorable and easy to say and spell, so we tossed around a lot of options and landed on RockMelt. Equally important was that the URL was available for $12 year instead of $100,000 like some of the other names we were looking at. To this day, it’s still the best $12 we’ve spent.
By building RockMelt on Chromium, we’re using the latest and fastest browsing technology. We merge changes from Chromium every day and stay as up-to-date as we possibly can so RockMelt users benefit from all the great work being done by Google’s Chromium team and the open-source community.
6. What do you think about the future of RSS?
We’re big fans of RSS since it makes it easy for people to get updates from their favorite sites, and that’s why we built support for it into RockMelt’s App Edge and added back-end services around it. Not many people are familiar with RSS but it’s been around for a while and – even with a trend towards real-time info – we think it’ll stick around for a while longer. The trick is to be flexible enough to support what most sites use today as well as the latest technology.
7. Are we getting close to a general release date for RockMelt?
Right now we’re focused on getting the user experience to the level that we want before a general release but we’re well on our way!
8. What elements of RockMelt and social media are still missing from mobile browsers? Any plans to address the mobile space?
We have some exciting plans for mobile and can’t wait to show what we’ve been working on.