The sheer volume of information people interact with each day is overwhelming. Articles, blog posts, Facebook posts, and tweets -- it's impossible for many to keep track and stressful for others who try. So apps like Rockmelt are becoming increasingly popular. Designed to consolidate your favorite Web sites and content sources into a single interface for reading, sharing, and saving, Rockmelt is a very effective app in many ways, and in others very much in need of updates and refinement.
Upon installation, Rockmelt prompts you to sign in to at least one social account. You can alternately create an account directly with Rockmelt, but for the app to work properly you'll need to do at least one of these so it can save and sync your data. After this, you are prompted to populate what you will follow. The app automatically populated a list of roughly 56 items in this initial step; it wasn't immediately clear what algorithm Rockmelt used to determine what we wanted to read, but it was fairly accurate, choosing a number of news sources that we subscribe to through other apps. The thing that sets Rockmelt apart from other curation apps like Flipboard is its social integration. Not only are you logged in to Twitter and Facebook, but other users can follow you with Rockmelt to see what you are reading and saving. It also tracks your activity and shows what you have been reading, allows you to share your favorites, and save items for later (or e-mail them to yourself).
Rockmelt in some ways works very well and in others is missing important features, like a clear outline of what exactly you are supposed to do during installation. Feeds, search functions, and some menus load very slow, as well. It's likely a result of pulling so much data from different sources, but the effect is frustrating at times. With further refinement, better description of the tools included, and a clear focus for its social functions, however, Rockmelt could become a very powerful news and blog reader.