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!
Let us know about the apps your family uses and tell us what type of app you'd like to know more about.
This week our topic is gaming. In our email we talked about the first appearance of video games, the popularity of online gaming and console generations. We also talked about what new gaming consoles like the Wii U have hit the market. Participation in at least one thing will enter you in this week’s raffle. Week four’s prize is a two month subscription to GameFly. (GameFly is like Netflix but for video games)
Thing: Attend a screening of Video Game Revolution. We will screen Video Game Revolution on Monday February 4th at 10 am. Video Game Revolution explores video game inception,popularity, violence and impact. We will have an encore screening February 7th at 7pm.
Thing: Try out one of our gaming consoles in the Children’s Library before each screening of Video Game Revolution and Friday, February 8th at 5pm, as part of our weekly Wii’ve Got game program.
Thing: Attend the Start Your Own Website or Blog program Tuesday February 5th at 9:30am. You will need to register for this program as seating is limited.
This week's topic was Makers and Maker Culture. From robots and 3D printing to knitting and home improvement, we learned that almost 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 giftcard to Etsy!)
Thing: In the comments section below, respond to the following: Everyone is a Maker of one kind or another. What kind of Maker are you? Have you explored Pinterest yet? What do you think?
Thing: Attend the Etsy Workshop on Tuesday, January 22 at 10am. Register.
This week's topic was Homework 2.0.
Thing: Attend the Homework Apps App Chat on Tuesday, March 12 at 10 a.m. in the Children's Library.
Thing: Thursday, March 14 at 8 p.m. Join our Tweet Up to discuss great homework apps and resources. Use the hashtag #DLTweetUp to share your thoughts and follow the conversation.
This week's topic was photosharing.
Thing: Attend the Tedx Darien Library this week on Monday, March 4 at 10 a.m.
Thing: Attend the Photo-sharing for Parents workshop on Tuesday, March 5 at 10 a.m.
Thing: Tweet a picture using Instagram to @darienlibrary.
Our topic this week was Apps for both Android and Apple devices.
Thing: Attend the Children's Library App Chat. Pull up a chair and learn all about the latest and greatest apps for iPad, iPhone, and Android devices. Tuesday, February 26 at 10am: Apps for All Ages.
Thing: Participate in our Tweet Up, a discussion of apps that will take place on Twitter. Join the conversation from the comfort of your own home or while on the go. Sign in to your Twitter account and use the hashtag #CLTweetUp to chat with the librarians and other parents. Thursday, February 28 at 8pm: App Chat.
Thing: Answer our online poll about what type of apps your child uses.
This week's topic was blogs and Tumblr.
Thing: Check out three of the blogs mentioned and mention your favorite in the Comments section below. Or mention a blog that you read regularly.
Thing: Sign up for the Tumblr class this Thursday, February 14 at 10 a.m.
This week's topics were Facebook and Twitter.
Thing: E-mail the Children's Library (email@example.com) your Twitter username.
Thing: Like the Children's Library on Facebook.
Thing: Attend the Twitter and Facebook Workshop for Parents. (This workshop is currently full, but if you complete one of the Things above, you'll still be entered in the weekly raffle!)
This week's topic was gadgets. We talked about new tablets hitting the market and the potential for new access to ebooks for libraries in 2013. By participating in at least one of the three Things below, you will be entered in our first weekly raffle. Week 1's prize is a Nook!
*Note: Week 1's e-mail mentioned that Overdrive and 3M apps could be purchased, they are actually available to download for free.
Thing: In the comments below, discuss your favorite tablet or ereader device. What do you use? What does your family use?
Thing: On Monday, January 14th at 10 a.m., Darien Library will host a screening of Connected, a documentary about the visible and invisible connections of our time, in the community room. Attend this screening or the encore show Thursday, January 17th at 7 p.m.!
Thing: On Tuesday, January 15th at 9:30 a.m., Darien Library and YWCA Parent Awareness will host Cyber Safety for Kids and Tweens, a panel discussion, in the community room. More information about the event can be found here.