Guy Kawasaki has launched his new news aggregation site, Alltop. This service from Guy’s very own words is an “online magazine rack” that displays news from selected top online publications and blogs. Aiming to satisfy the needs of the 99% of Internet users who never use an RSS feed reader or who would not bother creating their own mashups/startup pages, Alltop boast of itself as providing an aggregation without the aggravation.
In a nutshell, Alltop gathers the top five posts of selected blogs and publications, group them into forty categories, displays the first few lines of the opening paragraph of each posts and directs you to the blog where the articles was written by a click of the mouse. Sounds plain and simple, which is what Alltop is all about. Guy calls it the RSS for the masses. I call it a chocolate cake minus the chocolate icing.
There’s no doubt that Alltop can be or is actually a useful site. But having branded the site with the word “top” to signify that the items came from selected top blogs and online publications, we can’t help but wonder how Alltop determines which site to include or not. Is there a special algorithm that determines a blog or site popularity to be called top of its niche and hence be included in its respective category in Alltop?
One of the items in the Alltop About page was on how a blog can be included in the Alltop index of sites? And the answer given was that a convincing email should be sent by blog owners to Alltop. Another question was how to add other favorite blogs of users which were not included in the index. The answer was, “Please send us an email and we’ll consider them.”
Don’t get me wrong here, I’m not questioning the blogs/sites that were pre-included in the initial launch of Alltop. In fact, it was good to see SEJ as one of the top blogs/sites under the SEO category. But the question again is who selected and determined that SEJ should be included in the SEO category?
[I did Arnold, thanks - Loren]
I’ve already asked too many questions. Maybe I should stop here lest I be called an anti-Alltop or an Alltop hater.
I am not, because I really find the site useful but certainly not revolutionary. I would have to agree with Richard of RWW that Alltop is far from being the RSS for the masses, because it should not only the top sites in each categories, but cover other blog/sites as well.
Incidentally, if you check out Alltop’s SEO category, one of the site listed was a news site about SEOContest2008, which is a recycled site used for joining various SEO Contest. Just check out its About page and you’d know what I mean. Now how did that site did end up in the list of top SEO sites?