RockMelt Review: Better Social Media in Your Browser

Attention news junkies and Facebook superfans! Are you using the RockMelt browser? It brings all your social media and news inside the browser, so you can constantly monitor all your feeds without skipping a beat or navigating away from what you were doing.Rockmelt Browser Sample

Instead of opening lots of tabs, each with its own social or news site, RockMelt brings the sites you choose into the browser window. Think Chrome, but running apps on the side. So for example, Facebook notifications and chat are easily accessed from an icon on the side of the browser. Sharing is built into browser too, so it’s not just a one-way communication stream.

If you’re not a Facebook obsessive, that’s fine too. RockMelt has chat built into the browser, plus Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, CNN and even Gmail. When there are new events, you’ll see a number over the icon in the browser to tell you how many updates there are to see. No need to open Gmail just to find you haven’t heard back yet!

Particularly useful is the customizability. Any RSS feed can be added as a custom tab, so Rockmelt can be a completely streamlined browsing machine bringing you what you need to know. Ditto for the iPhone app, though it lacks the complete browser experience, and sadly there’s no app for Android just yet. Here’s hoping it’s coming soon though. Overall, the RockMelt experience is fast, useful, and a time-saver for the news and social obsessed.

VIDEO: On @HLNtv I answer the burning question: Should I friend my kids on Facebook?

This morning, Robin Meade asked the question, “Should parents friend their kids on Facebook?” My answer? ABSOLUTELY! Just do me a favor — don’t ruin the kids conversations. You’ll just send them into online hiding if you do.

Kids today can be sneaky and they have some serious workarounds at their disposal, so I recommend a few steps you can take to better manage their computer usage:

–Put devices in your main living area. This isn’t the best way to monitor, but it’s better than them being in their room and out of view. Want the rest of my tips? Click here to read the whole article on!

Are we revealing way too much info about ourselves online? Millions not using Facebook privacy settings!

“I can’t believe what I’m reading!” That is the feeling I got while digesting Consumer Reports’ recent “State of the Net” survey, which essentially puts our digital habits under the microscope.

The reason I was so shocked by the report boils down to these three things. Continue reading this blog post on

The risks involved in giving apps permissions to login with your Facebook or Twitter accounts

Even when you get your privacy settings just right (assuming that’s even possible!) your personal info and data is still at risk every time you give an app permission, or sign in to an application using Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media service. In my latest on HLN, I look into the risks you take when associating your social media accounts with 3rd party applications.

Tagged Adds Some Great Features to its Mobile App

I recently wrote about Facebook’s new features and how they work for small businesses, but today I’m highlighting a different kind of social network : Tagged.  Tagged isn’t a Facebook competitor per se; as a matter of fact you can (and I do) use Facebook Login to sign into the site.  Tagged is different – instead of just keeping up with your friends, Tagged is focused on meeting new friends.  This is accomplished via site-generated friend suggestions, public profiles, group interests, and most importantly, social games.  This kind of behavior is great for your social life, and making friends can be good for your brand as well.  In the business world it’s all about who you know, and Tagged is a great way to get to know people.   Read More

Facebook has new features for your brand

It seems like Facebook has been announcing a lot of changes lately.  For busy small business owners this can be a prescription for paranoia, since it’s hard to keep up with all these changes and quickly analyze how they affect your brand’s page.  However, the Facebook team seems to be working at keeping it clean and simple, with new metrics that help you understand your page’s impact.

The latest changes come as part of Facebook’s new Insight tools, which indicates a shift in Facebook’s  emphasis towards sharing and engagement. Until now there hasn’t really been a way for brands to measure the impact and reach their content and fan pages have. The latest updates will give brands a much better measurement of engagement over the previous offerings. Read More

Premade Recipes Make ifttt Awesome

A while back, we found “if this then that”, a cool new way to automate some of the logistical work of your social media campaign.  “If this then that”, or just “ifttt”, is a way to write custom recipes or routines that fit your social media campaign perfectly.  That’s awesome, and what’s even more awesome is that you can share these recipes with the world.  You’re also free to use the recipes that have already been shared by others, rather than having to make them all up from scratch. Today I’m going to take a look at some of the coolest recipes I’ve found, and let you know how you can put them to work with your social media outreach. Read More

ifttt makes social media a breeze

Social media is a big part of any modern marketing campaign.  However, managing social media properly can mean a lot of time-consuming work.  It’s one thing to have a solid plan, but the real work comes with the day-in, day-out hands-on implementation of this plan.  There are lots of products that claim to automate this process, but they’re all missing a key thing: variety.  You can set your tumblr to auto-update to your twitter, and your twitter could update your facebook, but this creates a single monolithic, repetitive structure.  So, how do you add nuance to your social media plan without adding complexity and hours to your day? Read More

Can You Make Money Selling Directly Through Facebook?

Is your small business conducting e-commerce directly through Facebook?  According to a recent study by Ability Commerce, only 10% of the Web’s largest retailers sell products directly through Facebook.  Are retailers simply not hip to the sell-through potential of the world’s most popular social media site?  Or, as I pointed out in my early review of Google+, is this just indicative of Facebook’s long-standing difficulties in integrating e-commerce into its social networking architecture? Read More

BlinQ: Control your TV with your iOS Device

At a recent tech expo,  a newer contender in the world of universal remote apps for iOS devices caught my eye.  Although not an original idea, this particular implementation has a relatively low cost considering its rich feature set.  This type of app represents the direction I believe that TV is going: businesses should be prepared to engage customers in new ways using ancillary content like ads, interactive games, and social content.

Ryz Media’s BlinQ TV has the newest twist on this idea. BlinQ’s big “get” is that, instead of routing commands over Wi-Fi, BlinQ gives you an IR blaster that plugs into the device’s headphone jack.  The small blaster can control a TV, cable box, and most other devices with no intermediary hardware. Best yet, it’s very affordable at ten bucks.

BlinQ offers a guide that allows you to forget channel numbers and just concentrate on content. It does this by focusing on the popularity of shows among BlinQ users–the popular stuff is at the top, and there are pop-ups that alert you to trending shows. You can recommend what you’re watching to your friends via Facebook and Twitter.  This product is a great look into the developing relationship between the TV and mobile devices; as soon as we don’t have to find a little gizmo to plug into our phones to get this functionality, absolutely everyone will use their phone as their remote.  So, start thinking about what kinds of games and social features you might want to integrate into your company’s TV advertising campaigns, because it’s going to be the norm in the very near future.