I had written a long time ago about the Alltop service (If you could have one start page). This resource, directed by Guy Kawasaki takes the concept of RSS and Bookmarks and Favourites to the next level.
Instead of you going around and aggregating the resources that you find in your RSS reader, you let Alltop do it for you. The resources are updated system-wide hourly and you’re always on top of things.
There are a lot of advantages to this sort of thing.
First, and probably most appealing to most folks, you can get the benefits of RSS without the effort. Instead of you configurating your Flock feeds or Google Reader or whatever you’re using, let Alltop do it for you. With a quick mouseover, you get a preview of the content of the last five posts on the service. A click takes you directly to the feed or to the entry.
But, there are other advantages.
Since all of the resources are categorized under major titles, you can quickly head to, say, Education and read the feeds of the top educational bloggers and resources. That’s nice.
It’s also nice in the fact that Alltop has done the work to find and put all of these resources in one spot for you. There are literally hundreds of categories for you to browse and read when the fancy hits you.
The problem, and problem probably isn’t the word for it – perhaps challenge – is that there is so much there that you can spend a great deal of time wandering from category to category finding feeds to read.
This morning, the next logical step was announced. A new service “My Alltop” allows you to create your own account on Alltop to create your own personal directory of resources that you visit. This resolves the challenge above. If you have a resource in education and baseball, for example, My Alltop lets you create your own page to aggregate feeds across categories. Make sure that you periodically check out the big categories to make sure that you are not missing anything!
This personalization should let you find the content of your morning read easier. It’s all in one spot. Plus, you can share your content with others. So, if you want to see what I’m reading, follow the link to http://my.alltop.com/dougpete. A link quickly lets you share your Alltop page to Facebook and Twitter so that others can check out what you’re reading.
It looks and feels like a pretty good launch. Kudos to the folks at Alltop. There is room to grow – it would be nice to start a community of researchers who could share and share alike – it would be nice to have control over your personalization colours – it would be nice to have counters on the resources so that you can see where you are trending – it would be nice to have a My Alltop badge for webpages and blogs – but if the evolution of this service serves as public record, you know that there will be more functionality built into it all the time.
Take the time to watch this tutorial to see how it works.
More than ever, you need to consider making this your start page. After all, if you could only have one start page…
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