RSS (Really Simple Syndication) is an XML document specification used as a generic approach to exposing data to other tools for reading. Many sites now use RSS to deliver content such as search results, weblogs, and news.
Due to the simplicity and usefulness of RSS, it is one of the largest implementations of XML worldwide. People consume the feeds to keep up to date with a wide range of content via subscriptions so that they don't need to remember to visit the sites of interest. Without RSS, web users are required to visit web sites over and over throughout the day or hour to keep them informed of the most current data. This process can lead to a lot of repetitive reading as well as missing timely information. RSS resolves these issues. When paired with an aggregator, and the surfing is done, you can read new items as they arrive automatically.
This approach is somewhat similar to receiving email but uses a very different delivery technique. Unlike email, an RSS feed is hosted by the information provider, instead of delivered to the subscriber. Email typically uses a protocol called Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) to communicate with the recipient through an email server. An RSS feed is generated directly by a web site and uses the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) as its delivery protocol.
7.1.1. Overview of RSS
RSS is a simple XML format that defines a channel containing items that carry the actual information being delivered to the RSS consumer. These items ...