Google Reader users have been scrambling to find a decent replacement for their favorite reader ahead of its July 1 shutdown. At SocialNewsDaily we have been testing various new replacement options, and one of those platforms is Rolio.com.
Rolio is a simple RSS reader. All of your news is presented in a single “river of news” style stream. You can also place feeds in categories so you can filter them topically. Rolio even allows users to integrate Twitter and Facebook directly into the news stream.
In theory, this sounds great. In practice, I found it somewhat overwhelming. My social network streams are simply way too active. I couldn’t keep up with the amount of data that was flowing into my Rolio stream. I maintain Twitter lists for news and information streams, but with Rolio you can’t follow twitter lists. It’s all or nothing.
You can import your feeds from Google Reader or iGoogle using the XML generated by Google Takeout. While Rolio had no problem importing my feeds, it didn’t maintain the folder structure I had set up in Google Reader. This meant that I had to recategorize every feed. Rolio makes this easy with its drag and drop interface, but it would have been nice if they had simply maintained the categories I had already set up in Google Reader.
Currently, there are no mobile apps for Rolio. Because of the simple layout, you can view Rolio in your mobile browser, but it’s not ideal. The Rolio team is currently working on clients for Android and iOS devices.
While Rolio wasn’t a good choice for me, it might be useful for people who get most of their news from social media. Rolio is free to use, so if it sounds like something you might find useful, it won’t cost you anything to try it out.
For now, I’m sticking with Google Reader for as long as I can.