I wasn't getting the alerts, thru AOL/AIM's "service". It was spotty at best. I had also been using changenotes.com, and sometimes that worked and sometimes it didn't. sigh.
Earlier this week, I'd looked into Google Reader. Now, I'd checked it out before, but it seemed a little overwhelming cuz I couldn't grasp it at first (I was having a bad brain day). But when I got to looking at it earlier this week, ping! I understood it and POOF it works quite well.
I didn't realize how very much google has to offer. i'm slowly checking out various features and such. i think some are not really my thing, but some are. and that's good enough for me!