For the Blind Using RSS Feeds Is Like Reading the Newspaper

If you are like me, you spend most of your day in front of a computer. For years I have noticed a listing on most websites called RSS feeds, but never paid much attention to it until recently. For those of you not familiar with RSS feeds, a RSS feed alerts you when there is a new article on a website or new content. Instead of constantly checking up on your favorite websites, you can subscribe to its RSS feed, which for those of us who are blind or visually impaired is a great way to keep up to date, and for those of you who like drinking your morning coffee and miss reading the daily paper, here is a way to once again do that even if you are blind! So sit back relax and get ready to learn.
First think about your favorite sites and some of your favorite writers contributors, and bloggers. For example, I like to be kept on the latest happenings of the world and of course NYC, so I went and googled Yahoo news RSS feeds, and it brought up a page of all Yahoo RSS feeds. I clicked subscribe in mail, and will go in to how to view these feeds at the end of this. I then thought about my favorite sports writers and went to ESPN and looked up their RSS feeds, it offered me categories of sports to follow like MLB, NNFL, etc. Then it broke it down to some of my favorite writers on ESPN like Mel Kpier, Buster Olney, etc. I subscribed to each of their feeds. I then looked up Entertainment Weekly, and subscribed to their general entertainment feed. Additionally, if you are using Twitter which I highly recommend you can sign up to a RSS feed of the people whose tweets you do not want to miss. I follow a lot of Visually Impaired Technology companies like Optelec and VisionZone on Twitter. When you sign up for their RSS feed you be sure not to miss an important tweet as you will receive all of their tweets, and can go through them at your leisure. I also signed up to receive Denis Leary’s tweets as he just cracks me up. Ok so now you are signed up for a ton of RSS feeds, but how do you make this like reading the newspaper and how do I view all of these feeds.
The most common way to view RSS feeds is by using Goggle Reader. I have only briefly used the free Google Reader, and it is very easy to sign up for if you are already using Gmail or have a google account, and if you don’t use either, I would highly suggest signing up for google as it is free and offers you a lot of great services. Google reader is aaa simple RSS viewer where you can scroll through all of your RSS feeds and click and choose which articles you want to read. I am using my macmail box to read my RSS feeds, so I will talk about reading your RSS feeds in your email, as I am pretty sure this would work with any email client. When you to a RSS feed it offers you a ton of options. One of them is receive in mail. Select that RSS feed. By default in mcmail, it sends all of my RSS feeds to a special RSS mailbox. At first I thought it would be great to just receive my RSS feeds in my inbox, but quickly learned that would be a disaster as you will receive a ton of feeds, an dyou don’t want your feeds cluttering up your email. Most email clients should have a sepearate RSS folder. What I do is use this RSS folder for all of my feeds. Since I am now subscribed to a ton of RSS feeds, tabbing through each one in my RSS general folder would take awhile. Here is where we get to my newspaper idea. In my RSS folder, I created four subfolders, News, Entertainment, Sports, and Technology. I put all the news RSS feeds into the news folder, and so on for entertainment, sports, and technology. Now when I go to my RSS folder in the morning with my coffee, it is like I am reading the newspaper. I go to news, and get all the latest news happenings of the world. You can very quickly scroll through the articles and read the ones that interest and just hit the delete key as if you were deleting a mail item you did not want to read. Your RSS feeds are constantly doing the work for you and checking your favorite sites for new articles instead of you having to do the legwork. The only that I do not care for about RSS feeds is some of the sites will only give you a snippet of the article and you will have to click on the read more in the RSS message to get the full article, but for the most part I am loving using RSS feeds and keeping up to date and I am betting you will love using them to

3 Responses to “For the Blind Using RSS Feeds Is Like Reading the Newspaper”

  1. For the Blind Using RSS Feeds Is Like Reading the Newspaper | U.S. Justice Talk Says:

    […] Adam Pash posted about this interesting story. Here is a small section of the postWhat I do is use this RSS folder for all of my feeds. Since I am now subscribed to a ton of RSS feeds, tabbing through each one in my RSS general folder would take awhile. Here is where we get to my newspaper idea. In my RSS folder, … […]

  2. Lorraine Says:

    Thanks Brian! I am going to try the RSS Newspaper idea too.

  3. blindgator Says:

    Yes, I love the MacMail RSS reader, as I do not like Google Reader, but the MacMail does not have an app for the Iphone for your RSS feeds which is strange so I only get them while at home, but check it sevral times a day, it is fantastic

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