I've been looking all over the Internet for something that defines "RSS feed" in a simple, concise manner for users.

I haven't found one, perhaps because it's so simple:

You subscribe to a web site's feed using a news reader and the news reader tells you whenever there's something new on the web site.

How to do it:

  1. First you must download and install a news reader. There are many (http://blogspace.com/rss/readers). I suggest SharpReader.
  2. You then go about your web surfing as usual.
  3. One day you find a web site you like. Something you'd like to check often for new info. You notice a little orange button on the site that says XML.
  4. You click the button, and your news reader comes up asking you if you'd like to subscribe.
  5. You click "Yes".
  6. From now on, your news reader will check this site for new content without you lifting a finger.
  • Is it a news site? The news reader will tell you whenever a new article is published. It'll even give you a summary of the article.
  • Is it a music site? The news reader will tell you when a new song is put on the site.
  • Is it somebody's blog? The news reader will tell you each time there's a new bit of heart-wrenching gobble-di-gook.

Kind of like recieving an email whenever a web site is updated. But unlike email, there's no spam and you don't have to deal with actual personal relationships in order to make it work.

Sigil has set up an RSS feed for Everything 2 at New Writeups RSS Feed.

kthejoker says re RSS feed: You might mention that there are several web-based news readers (such as Rojo and Bloglines) that do not require downloading.
There are. =)

Oh and PS - a news reader is also called a news aggregator. However "news aggregator" can also refer to a news feed which pulls news from other news feeds. I use news reader here to avoid abiguity.