Alltop is a site that proves complex is not always better. Sometimes the most helpful Web resources are deceptively simple. (Remember that for your next Web startup.)
Alltop is a site that collects or aggregates headlines from top sites, including media and blog sites. It arranges the sites and headlines by topics, such as photography, celebrities, science and, yes, even small business. Think of it as a digital magazine rack.
The main page of Alltop (http://alltop.com) lists all the topics.
Then you jump over to individual pages that aggregate the headline stories under each topic. The Career topic is at http://career.alltop.com. Small business is http://smallbusiness.alltop.com. And so on.
Alltop is from Nononina Inc, which describes itself as two guys and a gal in a garage. Rock-star venture capitalist Guy Kawasaki is one of the people behind Nononina.
In its About page, Alltop gives the best description of what the site does, writing:
We help you explore your passions by collecting stories from “all the top: sites on the web. We’ve grouped these collections — “aggregations” — into individual Alltop sites based on topics such as environment, photography, science, celebrity gossip, fashion, gaming, sports, politics, automobiles, and Macintosh. At each Alltop site, we display the latest five stories from thirty or more sites on a single page — we call this “single-page aggregation.”
You can think of an Alltop site as a “dashboard,” “table of contents,” or even a “digital magazine rack” of the Internet. To be clear, Alltop sites are starting points — they are not destinations per se. The bottom line is that we are trying to enhance your online reading by both displaying stories from the sites that you’re already visiting and helping you discover sites that you didn’t know existed. In this way, our goal is the “cessation of Internet stagnation.”
Alltop is a clean-looking, easy to scan site. It is intuitive and human-friendly.
Today there are so many websites that the hardest thing is sorting through the chaff to get to the wheat. Often searching to find sites feels like being down in the weeds hunting through grains of sand. Will you eventually stumble across good sites to bookmark? Certainly. But you’re going to have to look at a lot of grains of sand first.
Alltop lets you avoid some of that labor. You can discover sites that regularly cover particular topics in depth. Bookmark an Alltop page and you can refer back to it and have 30 authoritative sites on a topic all in one place, along with five of the latest headlines from each.
By its very nature Alltop is subjective in how it chooses sites. With each topic being limited to about 30 sites, it is bound to leave out a few of your favorite sites. But unless you are a complete information junkie, you will likely discover (or re-discover) some new sites, too.
And the good news is, they invite you to suggest sites to include. There’s an email address for that purpose — and it does not go into a black hole. I sent in an email suggestion and actually got a personal response back, from Guy Kawasaki himself.
The advantage of Alltop is that you have a great starting point. Someone else has done the heavy lifting. It can save you hours of time.
Of course, you can have the best of both worlds by using Alltop as a starting point and then bookmarking other sites you like using a tool such as Netvibes or PageFlakes.
Check out Alltop. What are your impressions?