Okay, I played with RSS, and finally saw some benefit in it. It’s not intuitive by ANY stretch, but once you’ve figured out how to drop RSS feeds into your Bookmarks Toolbar folder in Firefox, you can tap those little icons on the toolbar and see what’s new on your favorite sites.
As has been mentioned before, this is best for blogs, or other sites whose updates are not scheduled like clockwork. I’m using it now for Cox and Forkum (a political cartoon that updates irregularly) and Websnark, a blog popular with the webtoonist set, which also updates irregularly. I tried putting my gmail account up there and it errors out. I think I have too much mail.
I’ve not played with aggregation at all yet.
Anyway, thanks for the help, folks. Specifically, thanks to strredwolf and matt_arnold, who actually posted a concise set of instructions I could follow. Honorable mention to p3rlm0nk and datapacrat for the FAQ link and the ForecastFox link, respectively.
I still need to look into Bloglines. That may prove useful when I’m on the road.
At any rate, the tentative verdict is “I will employ RSS for notification, not aggregation.” It’ll be a few weeks at least, as we’re still hammering on more important stuff on the site (transcripts in the archives for Google searchability, and Open Letter archives for a blog I can run ads in).
Thank you, and good night.