I'm just barely starting to learn about this myself, so perhaps I can offer the perspective of someone who has only been experimenting for a week or two.
RSS (really simple syndication) is a means to deliver a "feed" of headlines or other news items to a webpage. It isn't quite as simple as pasting HTML into your webpage, though, because RSS feeds are marked up as XML, so a vanilla web browser will just see unformatted junk. Newer browsers are beginning to be able to read RSS feeds more or less directly, but you shouldn't count on that being available at large. There are also specialized RSS-reader applications (separate from browsers) but again, you shouldn't expect Joe Surfer to have that.
But, RSS is catching on really fast and within a year I suspect most people will have the capability to read RSS feeds just like they now can read web pages. This will happen in part through web portals that let you subscribe to RSS feeds of your choice. MyYahoo is one such portal; the custom Google portal is the one I've been using, and you can easily see how powerful it will be. Experimenting is the best way; go to:
See the "Add content" link in the upper left? Open that up, and choose any of a number of news feeds to add to your page (and just manually drag them around on the screen with your mouse to put them where you want). But here's the cool part: when you open that "Add Content" panel, see the "Create a Section" link at the bottom? Open that, and type in the RSS feed address of any RSS feed - one from your own CMS for example. Here's a US goverment RSS feed you can try:
(WebmasterWorld doesn't like people to post URLs in general, but I hope these "official" ones will be accepted.) Paste that URL into the "Create a Section" box, and you'll get a continuous news feed of earthquake data worldwide on your Google home page.
Just $0.02 from another beginner; I'm sure there's a lot more to learn.