“RSS organizes web-based information into a format which allows people to subscribe to automatic updates”
Another way of explaining what feeds are is to compare them to your incoming mail. Feeds are reformatted content from websites that support the feature (typically most blogs) and which you can subscribe to using a “feed reader” or “aggregator”. An aggregator then downloads updated feeds from the relevant websites as those websites are updated or pretty much whenever you want to download them. If you are using an aggregator on your computer (as opposed to a web-based aggregator like Bloglines or Newsgator), you can then catch up on developments on your favourite websites offline with all the updates delivered to one place.
Take a look at the posts on CT BizBlogs on the following topics:
Another post worth reading is Niall Kennedy’s excellent post titled “State of the aggregator” which looks at the current use of this technology as well as its potential.