RSS stands for "Really Simple Syndication" or "Rich Site Summary"; it is a file format for delivering regularly updated information via the web. It's an easy way for Internet users to keep up with news and information.
RSS helps users avoid the conventional, time-consuming methods of browsing or searching for information on web sites. RSS allows the content to be delivered directly to Internet users without cluttering their email in-box. RSS content is called a "feed." It can also be called a channel. RSS is written in the Internet coding language known as XML (eXtensible Markup Language).
An RSS reader, or feed aggregator, is required to use RSS. An RSS reader is a small software program that collects and displays RSS feeds. RSS gives the user the ability to scan headlines from a number of news sources in a central location. By using RSS, municipal governments can easily disseminate news, events and information such as emergency alerts to Internet savvy citizens. Aggregators can also be used to create dashboards pulling in information from a variety of regional or topic-specific feed sources.
City of Tampa, Florida at http://www.tampagov.net/
The City of Tampa, Florida uses RSS to deliver official news releases and the Tampa News, an e-newsletter containing announcements and information about City of Tampa departments, projects and events. They are one of hundreds of local, state and national government organizations using RSS.
Popular web-based feed aggregators:
These aggregators also support a variety of web widgets enabling a variety of content to be displayed on a single page. For example, a page could contain RSS feeds, photo sharing, micro-blogging, video sharing, and other social media information sources. Each aggregator also has search features that help locate feeds of interest.