RSS takes three tries before you start to understand it. The first time, it goes completely over your head. The second time, you start to get some kind of idea what they’re talking about. The third time, you start to really understand what’s going on.
Maybe this will help. Go to this page. This is part of our portal page system — the pages that automatically load when someone starts a browser in our district. This particular one is the “news” section of our high school portal.
What do you see? In the upper-left corner, there’s the current weather. That’s pulled from the weather channel via RSS. Next to that, you have national news. Those items are collected from the top stories on CNN, Associated Press, Reuters, USA Today, National Public Radio, and MSNBC. They’re pulled via RSS, collected, and displayed as links.
Next to that is school news. That’s done the same way, except we pull the RSS feeds from our district, high school, middle school, and elementary school web sites. We do the same thing with world news and local news.
I think I last edited this page last June, and it’s always up-to-date. That’s RSS.
The people over at Common Craft have a short video that helps explain this, too:
If you want an easy way to start playing with this stuff, check out Protopage.