Although it is a pittance, regular old non-paying users have now been given access to *some* syndication points needed to add syndicated channels to your friend's list. .99, to be specific, which is .01 shy of being able to create a syndicated channel yourself.
I doubt that free users will get additional points anytime soon, but .99 might be enough for people to subscribe to four or five feeds in the future as more people use the feature. What it isn't enough to do, however, is read their friend's journal on another site, however.
The original intent of syndication was to enable a network between LiveJournal sites. They could add you as a friend, and you could add them. You could comment on their journal, and they could comment on yours. The technology for this is actually there now, too.
A bigger problem, however,, is a failure to communicate. After all this time, there is *still* no mechanism for LiveJournal to communicate with its free users. Occasionally, posts are made to the news community, but even then, most users don't subscribe to that community. Features are added to the site, but there is no concerted effort to let people know this.
Shame, really. You give over 700,000 people the right to do something really cool with the software, but you don't let them know they have that right. Feh.
The answer, of course, is painfully obvious. Create a journal for new features and sign everyone up to it by default. This could be done in, oh, say... 30 minutes. You could do the same with news too, of course, but sometimes people aren't interested in knowing about beta testing, the need to hire yet another sysadmin (frankly, I liked the first one), and yet another plea for mo'money.
Who *doesn't* like to hear about new features, though? Anyone?!
*** Update - if you still don't know what syndication is, I have explained it here! ***