Week 3: RSS and Alerts: Keeping Up

Robot holding RSS symbol.  Image courtesy of Flickr user Rafa[EU]This week is all about RSS, which stands for "Real Simple Syndication."  If you are starting to feel a tad overwhelmed with the sheer amount of information that is available on the internet and in the Web 2.0 world, you are not alone!  There are so many blogs, websites, new tools, and interesting articles.  How can one person possibly keep up with it all?  How can you weed out the stuff you don't want from the information that you do? 

One way to keep up is by using an RSS reader which allows you to subscribe directly to the content that interests you.  Some people call them "readers," "feed readers," or "aggregators."  Whatever you call it, the idea is to bring the information to you- rather than have you go to the information. 

First, watch this short CommonCraft video that neatly explains all about RSS:

Thing 5: Setup an RSS Reader There are several great ones to choose from: Google Reader, Bloglines, Newsgator, or My Yahoo.  If you already have a Google account, you will find it easy to use the Google Reader.  Likewise, if you are a Yahoo! user, My Yahoo! might be the best choice.  But don't be afraid to try a few and see which one is the best fit for you. To set up an RSS Reader, you will need to first create an account and then explore the tools, settings, and particular interface of the program you choose. Click here to watch a quick video on adding feeds (aka "subscriptions") to GoogleReader. 

Maybe you'd like to put an RSS feed subscription on the Darien Public School website or your child's teacher's website. Or maybe you'll love reading a local mom blogger, like Nicole Lyons from All About Darien, who blogs about events in and around town. Did you know that there are lots of websites that share local information through Feeds including FairfieldCountyChild, Darien Patch and even the local newspapers!

Maybe using a Reader is still just ONE MORE THING to have to check and follow. Maybe you check your email regularly and think that having the information sent right to your inbox is preferrable and more convenient. Try setting up an RSS Feed that will send updates directly to your email account with Feed My Inbox. Watch an explaniation of how it works here.

Extra Credit: Alerts

Create an Alert using Google Alert. Google Alerts are email updates of the latest relevant Google results (web, news, etc.) based on your choice of query or topic. Just want to see how it works? Try putting an alert on "Darien Library" and see who's talking about our library online!

Thing 6: Add  Darien Library 21 Things to your reader and at least one other blog. Now that you know how easy it is, you'll be on top of everything in no time!

21 Things Week 8: Apps and Wearable Technology

Image courtesy of Flickr user IntelFreePress
Image courtesy of Flickr user IntelFreePress

This week we learned about apps and wearable technology and the ways in which they will continue to affect our lives.

By participating in at least one of the Things below, you will be entered into our last raffle prize for 21 Things, which is a book by Make Magazine. 

Thing: Attend our App Chat in the Children's Library on Thursday, March 6 at 4:15pm. We will discuss our favorite apps for Apple and Android devices.

Thing: Participate in our Tweet Up on Thursday, March 6 at 10am. We will discuss our favorite apps for Apple and Android devices.

Thing: Participate in our Family App Scavenger Hunt on Friday, March 7 at 6:30. Register online.

Thing: Comment on this post about how your family uses apps for fun, school, work, or other purposes. 

21 Things Week 7: Declutter Your Digital Self

Image courtesy of flickr user naevus
Image courtesy of flickr user naevus

This week we learned about the ways in which we can declutter our computers and phones using learned techniques, and also library resources.

By participating in at least one of the Things below, you will be entered into this week's raffle, which is a copy of the book Totally Together: Shortcuts to an Organized Life by Stephanie O'Dea.

Thing: Attend our workshop on Declutting your Digital Self on Wednesday, February 26 at 12 noon. Register online.

Thing: Comment on this post about how you stay organized digitally and if you utilize any services like Dropbox, Google Drive, or others. 

Thing: Watch our playlist of TED Talks about Communication and post your thoughts below

21 Things Week 6: Twitter and Facebook

Image courtesy of flickr user WonderColours Villa Nueva
Image courtesy of flickr user WonderColours Villa Nueva

This week we learned about the use of social media sites Twitter and Facebook.

By participating in at least one of the three Things below, you will be entered into this week's raffle, which is a copy of the book Age of Context by Robert Scoble & Shel Israel.

Thing: Like DL Parents on Facebook

Thing: Create a Twitter account and follow Darien Library Library

Thing: Tweet @darienlibrary with the book you are reading this week

Thing: Watch our playlist of TED Talks about Communication and post your thoughts below

21 Things Week 5: Blogs and Microblogs

Image courtesy of flickr user beckie0
Image courtesy of flickr user beckie0

This week we learned all about blogs and microblogs. 

By participating in at least one of the three Things below, you will be entered into this week's raffle, which is a copy of the book National Geographic's Science of Everything. Perhaps it will inspire you to start your own blog or microblog!

Thing: Attend the Tumblr class

Thing: Participate in our Tweet Up on Thursday, February 6 at 10am, either from the library with the Librarians or from the comfort of your own home. We will use the hashtag #DLtweetup.

Thing: Visit at least 2 of the blogs discussed in the Tumblr workshop OR comment on this post with your favorite or another blog that you read frequently.
 

21 Things Week 4: Video and Photosharing Tools

Image courtesy of flickr user dizzylizzy1227
Image courtesy of flickr user dizzylizzy1227

This week's topic was Video and Photosharing Tools. Connectivity and interactivity with others has never been this simple. We wrote about how staying in contact with friends and family is now easier than ever, but along with that ease comes the issues of privacy and online security. 

By participating in at least one of the three Things below, you will be entered into this week's raffle, which is a Joby GorillaPod Camera Mount, compatible with all devices (Apple, Android, digital cameras, etc.) 

Thing: Comment on this week’s post about how you or your family members use social media platforms like Vine, Instagram, or SnapChat to share images and videos. Do you follow certain Instagram accounts that are kid-friendly, like @NASA, @CharityWater, @Keepsy, @TocaBoca, or @HarryStyles (One Direction’s Harry Styles), or do you mainly use Instagram, Vine, and Snapchat to post your own photos? Tell us about your Video and Photosharing experiences.

Thing: Share a video or photo on Instagram or Vine using #dl21things. Note: Private accounts should first follow @Darienlibrary - that’s our username on both Instagram and Vine - and we’ll follow you back so that we can see your content.

Thing: Attend our Online Security Workshop on Thursday, January 30th at 9:30am. We’ll have an encore session in two weeks on Thursday, February 13th at 6pm.

Register for the January 30th session

Register for the February 13th session
 

21 Things Week 3: Gaming and Minecraft

Image courtesy of flickr user Kevin Jarrett
Image courtesy of flickr user Kevin Jarrett

This week's topic was Gaming and Minecraft. We talked about the Darien Library's Minecraft server, MMO's (Massively Multiplayer Online games), other gaming systems, and the ways in which gaming has evolved since it became popular in the 1980's. By participating in at least one of the three Things below, you will be entered into this week's raffle (a Minecraft calendar for 2014).

Thing: In the comments below, tell us about the way your family uses games. Does your child play games online like Minecraft, or another type of game like Plants VS Zombies? Does your family use a Wii to play together? Tell us about how digital games are used by your family, or if you prefer another type of gaming like board games, card games, etc.

Thing: On Tuesday, January 21st at 9:30.m., Darien Library will host Understanding Your Tween's Online World. Guest speakers include town resident Nancy Sheed, a social media strategist and online manager and trainer, and Darien Library’s own John Blyberg, Assistant Director for Innovation and User Experience. Co-sponsored by YWCA Parent Awareness.

Thing: Come to the library and try out the Children's Library's Wii or Xbox Connect. Just email us at childrenslibrary@darienlibrary.org to set up a time.

21 Things Week 2: eBooks and Devices

Image courtesy of flickr user Brian Sawyer
Image courtesy of flickr user Brian Sawyer

This week's topic was eBooks and devices. We talked about tablets available today and access to eBooks and other content through the Library. By participating in at least one of the three Things below, you will be entered into this week's raffle (a $25 Amazon gift card).

Thing: In the comments below, discuss your favorite tablet or ereader device. What do you use? What does your family use?

Thing: On Tuesday, January 14th at 5p.m., Darien Library will host Family Tech Night. Join us to learn more about eBook, eAudio, and magazine access through the Library's catalog.

21 Things Week 1: Makers

Image via www.cainesarcade.com
Image via www.cainesarcade.com

This week's topic was Makers and Maker Culture. From soldering to 3D printing to cooking and home improvement, we learned that everyone has a bit of a Maker in them. By participating in at least one of the Things listed below, you will be entered into this week's raffle (a gift from Darien's own Etsy shop owner, Jen of ITTY BITTY BAG!)

Thing: Attend our TED Talks on Monday, January 6 at 11am, or watch the playlist here. Be sure to tell us in the comments below what you thought about the videos.

Thing: In the comments section below, respond to the following: We are all Makers of some kind. What have you and your family “made” together? Do you fix or repair things on your own? Have you explored Make Magazine, Pinterest, Instructables, or another online “Do It Yourself” website? 

Thing: Attend the Etsy 101 Workshop on Friday, January 10 at 10am. Register here.

Thing: Take a tour of the Children's Library's T|E|A Room. Stop in on your next visit and ask a Librarian for more information.

 

App Questionnaire

Let us know about the apps your family uses and tell us what type of app you'd like to know more about.

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