Prior to venturing into the blogging world I had no idea what an "RSS Feed" was. Even now I can't tell you what RSS actually stands for (trust me--it's not really that important). But I can tell you that it has become my favorite way to keep in touch with the websites and blogs I read regularly online.
As I mentioned, understanding the technical parts of RSS is not really important. What is important is knowing how to use it, and why you'd want to.
Regarding the latter--why you'd want to use it--it's simple: when I subscribe to an RSS feed from one of my favorite blogs or websites, I know that I'll receive automatic updates when those sites post something new. I even subscribe to the RSS feed of this blog so that I can make sure it updates when I write something new here. And sure enough, whenever I publish a new post for the day, it pops up in my email program minutes later.
Subscribing to RSS feeds also saves me time. I can just log into my email and instantly see which blogs and sites have new goodies to read. I don't have to go site-by-site, checking to see if they have updated or not. I can just visit the sites that I know have new material.
As for how to use RSS feeds, subscribing to them varies from program to program. For instance, I have a Mac and use their mail software, so I just click in my browser window on "rss" and "subscribe in mail" from there. Presto--the feed is added to my email program. Other programs operate differently, but all of them are simple and user-friendly. Use Hotmail or Gmail or another popular email site? Most of them have instructions for feeds right on their homepage. Use Outlook? Check out the "Tools" or "help" menu to learn more about adding feeds there. Having trouble? Google "help with rss feeds" and your email program and go from there!
Finally, I invite you to subscribe to Deviantly Domesticated's RSS feed to receive instant updates from me! It's the easiest way to keep up with new Marketplace Mavens or Smarty Pants posts or my latest thoughts on domestic experiments.