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!


Ok so I have set up the RSS

Ok so I have set up the RSS feed to show up on my desk top. I still need to see how to get these into my ipad without having to open google reader every time. I currently have feeds from school teachers and I added the all about darien feed. I get my patch in my inbox so that I always see their latest info.

Wow! That was easy! RSS

Wow! That was easy! RSS demystified!

Sweet! See, not so bad,

Sweet! See, not so bad, right? :--)

Hi Sara. I've done a little

Hi Sara. I've done a little research into the iPad RSS situation, and it looks like there are several apps for RSS on the iPad. The problem with some of them, as you mention, is that they operate via Google Reader. However, it looks like there are other apps that will work without you having to sign into Google. Here is a link to a blog post that explores and recommends some excellent RSS apps for the iPad:

Sarah, I've been using the

Sarah, I've been using the Pulse Reader app on my iPad which works like RSS and I like even better because I can organize them into categories! One page is pop culture, one page is tech news, one page is for children's book info etc. etc. It's a freebie so maybe try that and see if you like that?