What is RSS
RSS stands for Really Simply Syndication. Syndication basically means supplying information for reuse. Most blogs today have what's called an RSS feed. This feed contains all the content of the blog (basically just text and images from each post). By having this information in a feed, it allows any blog visiter to take that information and add it to what's called a feed reader. A feed reader is a website that takes information from many different blogs and puts it in on one page for you.
Why is this useful?
Well let's say you like reading 12 different blogs each day. The regular way to do it is to simply visit each blog and read the latest articles. The problem is that you don't know when each blog is updated until you visit the site. Another problem is you have to visit 12 different sites to view the 12 different blogs.
If you have a feed reader, you simply copy and paste the feed of each of your favorite 12 blogs into your feed reader profile and now you can read all 12 from the same page. This is called subscribing to a blog. Instead of checking all 12 blogs each day, you login to your feed reader and check to see if any of the 12 blogs have a new post. If they do, you can read the new post within your feed reader, you don't need to visit that blog ever again!
Take a look at this screenshot of the popular feed reader Netvibes:
In this example, you can see the various blogs I am subscribed to such as TechCrunch, Mashable, and Yang Town. If I want to read an article for any blog, I simply click on the article I want to read and it opens within my feed reader.
In this example, I select the latest post from the Yang Town feed:
I can select any of the latest blog posts from this feed and visit the blog if I choose.
There are a plethora of feed readers out there. Popular readers include iGoogle, Bloglines, Rojo, Netvibes and many more.
I hope you have a better understanding of what RSS is and how it works. Let me know if you have any questions or if you think I should add anything to this guide.
Thanks and be sure to add my RSS Feed to your feed reader.