The short version of it is - Google provides you with a pile of search results, Alltop gives you all the top news as selected by all the folks who write the top sites on the Web. Aggregation without aggravation, or a starting point for your exploration journey on a number of topics. This is how the portal is described on the site.
I'll come clean with you, Conversation Agent was chosen for the following categories - egos (along Mark Cuban, Lawrence Lessig and Dave Taylor), marketing, customer service, and content marketing. Thank you, readers, colleagues and friends. Thank you, Alltop!
After being a long time admirer and acquaintance (it takes more than a few emails to say you know someone who knows thousands of people, doesn't it?), I had the pleasure of meeting Guy Kawasaki face-to-face at the recent Blog Council event in San Jose, CA.
[photo courtesy of Blog Council]
Many of us have been online long enough to have our own blogs (no, I do not think blogs are going away), be on Twitter, have mastered LinkedIn, are re-friending long lost school buddies on Facebook and have these massive threads on the value of FriendFeed on FF itself. Our RSS readers are a well researched collection of information and we probably met many of the people we read in person. We analyze, slice, dice and aggregate online metrics with the ease of Web metrics gurus - or something like that.
I know what you're thinking, we are still in the minority, even though 73% of Americans and 64% of Europeans are online (source: Forrester). An increase in adoption means not only that more people are potentially reaching up on the participation ladder, it also means that there is more out there to discover. Mon dieu, how do you find all that content? How do you make sense of it by category? It took me three years to build a good stream of content that is useful and inspiring, and I keep adjusting.
You can begin with Alltop and personalize from there - make the portal your own. I ran a quick survey asking what people liked about Alltop on Twitter, here are some of the answers:
Access to a bigger audience for less known bloggers, diversity of topics, makes research easy, it's simple and clean to navigate, it's a niche aggregator - and it gives Guy Kawasaki something to do. This is probably as good a mix of opinions as you're going to get about it. There's even some feedback about the Twitter feed.
It may not be perfect, but it can save you a ton of time and help you jump start your reading and learning. I know where to go when researching a completely new topic. What would you do to improve the experience? What new category would you add?