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RSS is widely used by the weblog community to share the latest entries' headlines or their full text, and even attached multimedia files. (See podcasting, vodcasting, broadcasting, screencasting, Vloging, and MP3 blogs.) In mid 2000, use of RSS spread to many of the major news organizations, including Reuters, CNN, and the BBC. These providers allow other websites to incorporate their "syndicated" headline or headline-and-short-summary feeds under various usage agreements. RSS is now used for many purposes, including marketing, bug-reports, or any other activity involving periodic updates or publications.
A program known as a feed reader or aggregator can check RSS-enabled webpages on behalf of a user and display any updated articles that it finds. It is now common to find RSS feeds on major Web sites, as well as many smaller ones. It is very common to find RSS feeds on Blog and Wiki sites. Client-side readers and aggregators are typically constructed as standalone programs or extensions to existing programs like web browsers. Browsers are moving toward integrated feed reader functions, such as Opera browser and Mozilla Firefox. Such programs are available for various operating systems. See list of news aggregators.
Web-based feed readers and news aggregators require no software installation and make the user's "feeds" available on any computer with Web access. Some aggregators syndicate (combine) RSS feeds into new feeds, e.g., take all football related items from several sports feeds and provide a new football feed. There are also search engines for content published via RSS feeds like Feedster or Blogdigger.
The above text was excerpted from Wikipedia's entry on RSS. Click here for more information on RSS feeds.