Thursday, June 4, 2009

Web Secret #55: Alltop

There are a number of milestones every social media fanatic aspires to:

* Having a 1,000 followers on Twitter
* Getting sent free stuff to blog about
* Making enough money on AdSense to actually get a check
* Getting paid to present your social media expertise

and...drum roll please...

* Getting your blog on Alltop®

Alltop collects and displays all the top stories on the web, aggregated on subject-category pages, and it’s fast growing into a digital magazine rack that includes all topics. Aggregation without the aggravation, for people who don’t read blogs in an RSS feed reader, but want to browse popular topics of interest on easy-to-read pages where the best of the best are available all the time.

Alltop aggregates RSS feeds from key blogs around the web. It categorizes them by topic and each topic gets its own page. There are around 30 topics varying from Design to Celebrities and Gaming to Mac. My blog is listed under "Blogging." Guy Kawasaki chooses which blogs to publish as well as the ordering of the blogs. There's basically no user input involved in the hierarchy and choices of the blogs.

What's great about Alltop? (Thank you Shiv Singh.)

1. It points me to some useful blogs. While I know which are the important blogs in my primary areas of interest like Social Media, I don't know which blogs to scan in other areas. In that sense, Alltop serves as a starting point especially if I am doing some research.

2. It's clean, uncluttered and kind on the eyes.

3. Less is more. I know exactly what to expect from Alltop and every page meets those expectations. There aren't any surprises - nor do I need to watch a video to understand what's going on. There isn't anything complex about this.

4. When you place your cursor over a headline, you get to see the first paragraph or so of the story. This allows you to decide whether it's worth actually clicking on that specific link.

No time for modesty. Alltop - I kick ass.

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