For a while I have been looking for a decent RSS/Atom syndication program so I can check easily whether any of the many blogs I read have been updated without loading the whole site.
I started by using Firefox's live bookmarks, but found it unreliable (it didn't always detect a feed) and inconvenient. Plus, it still didn't automatically let me know when a blog had been updated. I moved from there to trying a few different Firefox extensions.
The first one I tried was RSS panel which I just didn't get at all. You actually had to be on the page with the RSS feed for the thing to work. What's the point?
Sage, a very popular extension, was better but still didn't seem that good. I don't get why it's so popular, let me know if I've missed something. It's not very configurable and IMO really not very easy to use at all. Plus, it still didn't provide an easy way to check if any of the sites I read had been updated since my last visit.
Next I tried Wizz RSS. Much more configurable and much more confusing. Although I'm sure it's nice and powerful once you get it working the way you want it to, I didn't have the time/couldn't be bothered to figure out how it all worked.
Having had my fill of Firefox extensions (and not being able to find any more that looked half decent) I decided (against better judgement) that a stand alone program might be a better solution. I tried a few, didn't find any I liked and decided that my better judgement was indeed better. I didn't want to have to load another program to check my RSS feeds.
Finally and begrudgingly I decided that a web-based feed agragator was the way to go. Although I'd prefer not to have to load another site to check my feeds it was better than what I was doing (i.e. loading all the sites I read individually). Congratulations to Bloglines, they made it a snap. Adding feeds was easy, it provides an exceptionally simple interface (although some of the different settings can be a little confusing).
Bloglines allows me to quickly see if any of the pages I read have been updated since I last checked - which is exactly what I was looking for. Then, as an extra bonus, I found a Dilbert RSS feed, completely eliminating my need for the email subscription!
You can check out my Bloglines feeds here.