Alexa Skill – Feed Bot


 

My blind client wanted to have read her local newspaper on her Echo Dot. After a direct talk with the newspaper and finding out that an audio service for the blind do a tape/usb stick of the paper which gives curated news I wondered if using an RSS feed would work as an alternative.

Simple answer is yes it would. Adding /feed.rss to the URL created a text feed of news. Now would this work on the Echo Dot? I created an account through https://servebot.net/settings/feedbot

You will need to link the account to your google account.

Next, I added the URL with feed addition. The Alexa skill is “Feed Bot – RSS Voice Reader ” which needs to be enabled and linked to your Amazon account. Once this is done you say ” Echo ( or whatever you use) ask Feed Bot to play my feed.” Then it should go through the news items listed on your website. You can also link Podcasts to it which is something Alexa is not particular good at but have not succeeded in that area yet.

You can add other feeds which are automatically updated as the website changes. This makes the process much more simpler to manage. Not as clear as a curated audio file but a good alternative and makes your site accessible for all. I would recommend that RSS feeds are put on your websites for specific content to be read out.

What is also quite cool is that if you stop and then restart it will go back to the last read news article . Articles are short and take a minute or so to read. No image codes or code read out.

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