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I've been reading a lot of different blogs talking about RSS and how
says that only like 4% of people knowingly use RSS. Apparently, there's a lot of RSS bashing going on. I know that a lot of people think RSS is confusing, and at several levels, I would agree. I didn't even really start caring about RSS until I heard about podcasts in April. Then, I used RSS to keep up with my favorite podcasts in my podcatcher. I was still confused by it, and honestly didn't care about it.
But now, I think RSS is great for several reasons. There are the obvious reasons, like how it's easier to keep up with web sites and blogs. I can subscribe to blogs much like I read friends journals. Actually, some journals I subscribe to using RSS because they're easier to read in bloglines. In fact, I could subscribe to RSS using LiveJournal if I wanted to. But for the most part, I don't do that anymore. Here's why.
Bloglines allowws me to have an unlimited number of entries to read through. Say I'm gone for a weekend. I don't have to worry about my friends page getting lost. And say I've got a site like
on my friends page. That would take up a lot of space. But with bloglines, I can read each feed separately or together and not have to worry about how many entries it is.
That's pretty much something anyone can enjoy. But I like RSS for another reason: easy access with a screen reader. There are some web sites and blogs which are just hard for me to access for some reason. I don't like visiting the sites, but I do like the info they provide. Some of those sites offer full RSS feeds. So I can read the article in a more comfortable uniform environment and not have to worry about the sites. The cool use I see for RSS would be if we can get it to be more user friendly. I'm aware of RSS programs out there which are especially designed for blind and visually impaired computer users. That's great! If we could get things to integrate more simply, though, imagine what that would do for the beginning computer user. I think that's happening now with programs like Freedom Box, but I can't find a link to prove it.
Anyway, I just think RSS will probably have the potential to increase access for us. It has for me. Using the Mobile edition of
I am able to access multiple sites and learn about what's going on in the world in the environment I like. The question isn't whether I could do it differently. The answer would be a resounding yes. But since I can do things the way I like them, it makes my life a lot easier when it comes to accessing the info I need and want.
On any given day, I can keep up with what's going on with friends, health news, news, tech news, blindness and access related news and pretty much anything else I want.
Just my thoughts.


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Jan. 1st, 2006 10:06 pm (UTC)
I'm looking forward to switching over to Firefox to take advantage of the RSS bookmarks. I agree with the concept of RSS becuase I'm lazy and I advocate anything that allows me to be more efficient in a shorter period of time. I have as of yet not taken advantage of RSS except for Pubcatcher and the RSS browser in Winamp for listening to podcasts. The only reason I havent' started using sites like Bloglines is because the last thing I need is one more site to have to remember to visit and check every day. The beauty of RSS, though, is that it will drastically cut down on that, and maybe I'll even start using it to monitor sites that I don't right now because I don't want to have to deal with having to check them by hand all the time.

Happy New Year.
Jan. 1st, 2006 10:25 pm (UTC)
I forgot about Firefox's RSS support. And of course, internet exploiter 7 should have some kind of RSS as well. I'd love to switch eventually, but I need a new screen reader.
Happy New Year to you as well!
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