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Alltop

alltop.jpg

Guy Kawasaki introduced his news aggregating service, Alltop, sometime ago. It’s “inspired” by Popurls.com, another very popular feed aggregator.

Alltop has nine sections:

As you can guess, Ego features the rantings of “top” bloggers, such as Kawaski himself, Scoble, Fake Steve Jobs, Seth Godin etc. I am surprised that he’s given Mac a separate section. On second thoughts, I’m not really that surprised. But it does look a little unfair. If he’s given Mac a separate section, then why did he hesitate in giving technology and science two different pages?
The news sources that Alltop uses are quite good content wise. For example- The Science section has New York Times, BBC, Newsweek, Yahoo! Science News among others. Popurls is more focused on user driven content, such as, Digg, Delicious, Reddit, Stumbleupon, Truemors etc.

Some cons:

  • I’m hoping that with time, he will let us customize the look of the site.
  • Don’t like clicking on different pages for accessing different sections. Probably I’ve gotten too Popurlized.
  • Also, if you notice, the page footer is quite annoying because it keeps moving as you scroll up or down the page. A static footer would have been much better.

Will it be a popurl killer? Probably not. The crowd that Alltop wants to attract seems to be quite different. Unless Kawasaki makes some changes to the basic layout of the site, I don’t see myself being a regular reader. That footer is way too annoying.

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18 thoughts on “Alltop

  1. Urgh, that footer is a disaster. Not only does it come back on you, but it’s also unnecessarily huge. But then again, the website itself says it’s in beta so the look should undergo changes. For their own sake, I sincerely hope it does because I can’t see things working with that dull a look and that annoying a footer.

  2. Ruhi: Tell Guy your gripes. He is very receptive to feedback and generally a nice chap.

    The separate Mac section does not surprise me, given his Mac Messiah past! I am surprised in fact that he takes speaking gigs at HP etc now.

  3. Interesting to hear everyone’s thoughts and that the layout is unappealing when I find the clean simplicity the most appealing aside from the information. I use NetVibes, readers and I still need this site as a quick reference tool. Majority of the market still do not use readers or even understand RSS, now they have Alltop.

    If you want to submit your own stories, with your own twist, use Truemors!

    http://www.faleafine.com/?p=39

    Aloha,
    NEENZ

  4. Decent enough. Couldn’t understand the need of a seperate mac section. Could have been “Arts and Entertainment” or “International Happenings”. I would have liked it more if the footer would have moved out of my sight when I scroll. πŸ˜‰

  5. Ish- Yes, I think so too. Content-wise, Alltop’s really good. But the designing doesn’t encourage reading. I hope this changes soon.

    Arvind- No you can’t submit your stories. It’s only a news aggregator- something like http://popurls.com

    Anand- Yeah, Y! Pipes are the best πŸ™‚ I’m yet to learn how to make one, though I do use lots of popular ones out there.

    Shefaly- I need to go back to Alltop and see if they have any feedback option (which they should be having, considering the fact that it’s in Beta). Regarding his HP gig, that ‘guy’ is getting sold out. He does stuff for money now. πŸ˜‰

    Neenz- Thanks for your comment and welcome to my blog. πŸ™‚ Yes, you’re right. Most of us don’t even know what RSS is. In fact, I doubt if any of my real life friends use it. Going by that, Alltop is a good website. I haven’t used Netvibes much, but I like whatever I’ve seen till now. Truemors is good too; but the content and the look need to be improved. It’s not very “tidy”, so I get put off.

    P.S: Just took a look at your blog and came to know that you write at Truemor. Now I understand why you are all gung-ho about it.

    Amit- I think they do cover international news in the section “Oddities”. But yes, there should have been a separate section on Global Headlines. Guy is a Mac-fanatic, if you read his blog. But dedicating an independent section to it is a little too much. πŸ™‚

    Balu- I’ve only come across Popurls.com and Alltop. Do you know about any other similar aggregator?

  6. Drue- Thank you for dropping by. I took a look at the interview and have commented on your blog. It’s interesting how he’s decided to leave out customization from Alltop completely so as to differentiate it from Netvibes etc. I think he could have let users at least move the content around, in order of their preference. Doesn’t mean that it will turn into another MyYahoo, iGoogle etc. because the main content of the site is still “static”. Almost all the websites these days are moving toward customization and user based preferences and taking heed of industry forces is always a good idea.

  7. Thanks for dropping by Valley Zen too and giving a thoughtful response. Guy says there won’t be customization. However when I was interviewing Guy, we entered into an interesting metaphor of the Zen rock garden. He joked if enough people really want the rocks moved, he’ll move them πŸ™‚ It will be interesting to watch.

  8. evolution says:

    Hi Ruhi,

    I saw your comment over on ValleyZen. A thousand apologies of it seemed I was just talking about you – I was just talking about the blogosphere in general, rather than about any specific person.

    This is a great blog you have here, and yes, it’s good to provoke debate and discuss these things,

  9. @Ruhi
    I don’t use aggregators… dont know the idea never appealed to me much!
    I have seen a lot of people (here in office) use them i prefer my rss reader. i just subscribe all interesting stuff around.. works better than an aggregator!

  10. Drue- You’re more than welcome. πŸ™‚ And I hope he does move some rocks. I would love to see that happening sometime soon.

    Evolution- Thanks for your comment and welcome to my blog. And no need to apologize. πŸ™‚ I read your blog, which is quite impressive and realized that you write for Truemor too; so you must be knowing Neenz. Hope to see more of you!

    Arvind- Oh yes! πŸ™‚ Congrats to you. Your Yahoo hack thing has taken off!

    Balu- I think Alltop is geared towards people who don’t use RSS feeds for some reason or the other. And people like us, who do use RSS readers, will also find it to be useful because it can be used as a second source of information. Drue has an interesting interview on her blog. You might want to see that. πŸ™‚

    Guy- Thanks for paying attention to my gripe. πŸ™‚ I appreciate it. Regarding the favicon thing, Ish put it well- This is a free WordPress.com blog and we only get to use the WordPress favicon. Rest assured, I would have had a personalized favicon on a self hosted blog. But I wonder, what’s the relation between a favicon and a footer?

    Ish- Thanks for that comment. πŸ™‚

  11. Ruhi,

    I was gutted when i found out WordPress doesn’t allow the little people like us to have custom favicons! They’re only saved for the elite bloggers – another example of the bourgeoisie oppressing the proletariat πŸ˜‰

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