Jessie asked me about blog tracking, so I thought I'd post a bit on it here.
I first started using blog tracking software back in March, after Adrian posted a bit about Jetbrains Omea Reader. I had never heard of it before, but I decided to try using it because checking blogs individually was quite overwhelming! I really liked Omea Reader because it had a flagging system that allowed me to rate posts by importance, and it was easy to delete uninteresting posts so I didn't have to sift through them again. One click of the button and all my blogs were checked at once. Omea Reader is a desktop tracker that is downloaded to a computer, so it is not web-based. This is a disadvantage, as I found, is if you frequent a variety of computers, rather than just one.
A few months ago our computer went on the fritz, and after it was rebooted and everything was reinstalled, for some reason Omea Reader would not work on my computer after I reinstalled it. So I turned to a web-based service instead, which has the advantage of access on any internet-connected computer. I initially was planning on using Bloglines, but before I got very far in setting that up, Ashley convinced me to try Google Reader, which I really like. The deciding factor for me between Google Reader and Bloglines was that Google Reader tracks xanga accounts, unlike Omea Reader and Bloglines. I'm not a big fan of xanga (don't get me started. . . ), but there are a few intelligent xanga users out there, including Brother Dear and Becky, so tracking xangas is very helpful!
The catch to Google Reader is that I'm pretty sure you need a Google e-mail account (g-mail), but then, everyone should already have a g-mail account since it is such a wonderful service. If you want to sign up for g-mail, write me at susan [dot] garrison [at] gmail [dot] com, and I'll send you an invitation.
The benefit of any of the above services I mentioned is that they're all free, so take advantage of them and save some time!