For some time now, RSS has been making great progress in providing types of information beyond updates site and blog updates. From updating you with shipment/parcel tracking status, to weather forecasts, to podcasting, to the check-in/check-out status of a library book you're after, the range of services going further than a 'news' service provisioned via RSS is on the increase.
I love this example from Engineering Information::
Ei started testing RSS feeds with Engineering Village 2 databases, which will allow users to plug the RSS feed from their search strategy into the reader of their choice, ending the need to rerun the search on a regular basis or deal with more e-mail in the form of alerts. With the RSS reader, users keep citations of critical interest for future reference, deleting others as required.
The same Ei post points to a great resouce from Gerry McKiernan of Iowa State University (if you happen to be reliant on libraries - I am not but I see the potential). Gerry call his collection RSS(sm): Rich Site Services:
"RSS(sm): Rich Site Services, "a categorized registry of library services that are delivered or provided through RSS/XML, Atom, or other types of Web feeds." (http://www.public.iastate.edu/~CYBERSTACKS/RSS.htm) Library functions using RSS include announcements, cataloguing, collection development, databases, instruction, Internet resources, new books, new journal issues, news, reference services, reviews, and tables of contents.
And there it is...Rich Site Services. I love the term.