Alltop Is One Stop Blog Shop; Curation as It Should Be

I admit that my first impressions of Alltop were underwhelming. The site is a clean and simple collection of links to blogs in just about every category except technology. Here, you’ll find the “best” blogs on fashion, food, humor, celebrities, religion, music, sports, and business. You know, the stuff that the vast majority of normal people care about.

In an homage to that special characteristic that sets blogs apart from other media, there’s even a section on “Egos,” highlighting individual blogs that contain some of the best (and. I might argue, some of the lowest) writing in the blogosphere. It’s this collection, like some sort of self-fulfilling prophesy, that got the most attention in posts yesterday, predictably from individuals whose blogs are included in this section.

Alltop is neither complete nor definitive, but it ultimately proves very useful as a discovery vehicle. For both novice and sophisticated social media hounds, Alltop may even take on the roll of RSS reader. Why hassle with feeds when so many good blogs have been aggregated in one place?

If Alltop where just another attempt to “curate” the Web, however, it would not be so notable. What makes this curated collection interesting, and perhaps even important, is the lens.

Behind this collection is Guy Kawasaki, Apple-Evangelist-turned-entrepreneur’s-guru. He writes a popular blog himself, speaks frequently, writes best-selling books, and is generally the man about Silicon Valley. In short, he has a perspective and he’s broadcasted his point of view for much of the last 20 years. Whether you know Guy or not, you think you do. It’s that perspective that enables you to interpret the collection – the curation – at Alltop.

Simply put, Alltop is the stuff Guy likes. But more than that, it is the stuff that people who like Guy like. In collecting these links, Guy went to his community on Twitter and asked his followers what they liked. And they, in turn, put him on to a wide range of sites that he’d not known before.

“Twitter played a major role in Alltop,” Guy told me. “If would not be the same without Twitter. Without fail the Twitter community would always come back to me with the best stuff.”

Alltop, then, is a collection of the stuff that top bloggers, Twitterers, and social media buffs like to read. It’s not the wisdom of crowds, so much as the wisdom of the most engaged social media advocates.

In the past, Guidewire Group has been critical of attempts to curate the Web, primarly because these attempts to collect and categorize the “best” links are made without clear point of view and too often with more than a little condescending arrogance.

Not so, Alltop. The clear perspective and the engagement of a known and engaged community make this curated collection work. And because we understand and largely respect the point of view, Alltop may well become the one stop blog shop.

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9 Comments »

  1. [...] これは…えーと、RSSリーダーだ。たぶん。実は1ヶ月前ここで紹介済みなのだが、今回正式に公開となった(Chris Shipleyの記事には笑った)。 [...]

  2. [...] Guy Kawasaki just formally released his latest project. It’s called Alltop and it’s getting widely panned across the Internet. Michael Arrington doesn’t like it, and neither do these people. (Although some people like it.) [...]

  3. Pito Salas said

    One problem is: All Top is the top content “according to who?” This has always been the bane of web directories of all kinds.

    Take a look at http://library.blogbridge.com. It’s an analogous idea to AllTop with a big difference. It is curated by experienced experts in each field, who reveal themselves so you can assess for yourself whether their concept of the most important feeds is credible or valid.

    (By the way, while part of the BlogBridge project (http://www.blogbridge.com/look) anyone can use http://library.blogbridge.com, not just BlogBridge desktop users.

  4. I agree, Pito, that curated collections need to be transparent about the “who.” In the case of Alltop, it’s pretty clear: it’s Guy Kawasaki. And I should say that “best” is relative, and it was my word, not Guy’s. His goal, I think, is to surface interesting stuff.

    Blogbridge, I think, is not only transparent, but has a clear set of filters.

    Frankly, we need more of both to assess and maintain the value of all this content.

  5. [...] with new entrepreneurs, when I first talked with him about the site. And I failed to mention it in my initial post. Not surprisingly, the business plan is simple and common: attract a lot of users, then deliver [...]

  6. [...] Guidewire has a blog that is a about emerging technology and wrote a quick post with some backgroud of Alltop. Behind this collection is Guy Kawasaki, Apple-Evangelist-turned-entrepreneur’s-guru. He writes a popular blog himself, speaks frequently, writes best-selling books, and is generally the man about Silicon Valley. In short, he has a perspective and he’s broadcasted his point of view for much of the last 20 years. Whether you know Guy or not, you think you do. It’s that perspective that enables you to interpret the collection – the curation – at Alltop. [...]

  7. I really enjoyed this post about Guy Kawasaki’s latest site Alltop. I have shared it with my readers on my blog: http://northstarthinktank.typepad.com/northstar_thinktank/2008/04/alltopcom-highl.html
    Thanks, and keep up the good work!

  8. [...] Alltop is a One Stop Blog Shop [...]

  9. sandrar said

    Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. :) Cheers! Sandra. R.

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