What is... RSS?
RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. To most this could mean anything but at a basic level, RSS allows information to be delivered to you rather than having to find it yourself. RSS feeds 'push' out information to people who subscribe to them, saving time for both parties.
Why RSS is important
RSS is a very powerful technology as it can benefit not only the searcher but also the business providing the information.
Visitng your ten favourite websites which you like to visit can take you minutes or hours. If there is no new information on these new sites then this can be a wasted effort and lead to frustration. If you wanted to visit 50 websites, this would be even worse. By subscribing to RSS feeds, you only receive new information so if there is nothing new to say, then you don't need to waste your time looking for it.
For the business, there are also several important benefits. Firstly, you only contact users who are interested in your services, allowing your message to be highly targetted. Secondly, you can get information (such as subscription numbers) on how many people are interested in your services. If you have four or five feeds, you can monitor each of them and refine them according to there success. Finally, your bandwidth costs can be reduced as users will not visit all pages of the site, only those which are of interest to them.