I was late to the RSS game discovering Google Reader only a couple months ago. For probably a couple years I had bookmarked in Firefox some RSS feeds to my Bookmark Toolbar. This gave me the ability to view updated bookmarks with all the most recent StarTribune.com stories, for example, but it showed 10 or fewer links and if I didn’t look at it for a while I inevitably missed some stories.
Another issue I had was trying to monitor a handful (around 5) of blogs for updates on a regular basis. It became a chore to remember to visit the sites I had bookmarked every day or two and I would inevitably miss important news items.
Enter Google Reader. There are better resources than I could create to help you learn about Google Reader and how to use it, but the simplest way to get started with it is to subscribe to updates for this site by clicking on the “In an RSS Reader” link in the right column of this page. If you have a Google account for Gmail, iGoogle, Google Calendar, etc. you will find the process to be quite simple. Otherwise your biggest hurdle will be to set up a Google account.
As evidence of the Google Reader addict I have become, you see in the bottom of the column to the right all the RSS feeds I follow. As you can see, RSS feeds can come not only from blogs, but also from news website and that is my primary use of them. Google Reader collects all the sites I like to follow in one place and I can click a link in a snippet of an article to read the entire article on the original site.
Here are some other resources that may interest you: