Calling itself a "digital magazine rack," Alltop is a human-powered content aggregation site that brings together the best news and blog feeds from around the web in more than 80 categories (and counting) grouped into broad topic areas. Alltop displays the five most recent feeds for each source site; mousing over a headline pops up a small preview window of the content to help you decide if you want to click through and read the whole story. Each page also has a translucent stationary banner bar just above the bottom of the page, which serves as both a page marker to help keep track of where you are as you scroll through the headlines, and a bad pun ("we've got all the top stories covered" - get it?).
The human-powered aggregation model is somewhat similar to what TopNetPix, started by Jeff Rusinow, has put together. Both sites offer their own unique features. TopNetPix has more links, lets visitors create a personalized start page, and has its own Facebook app. Alltop has a much cleaner, less cluttered interface, a more focused set of content sites, and the aforementioned pop-up preview capability.
Speaking of that pop-up preview feature, Alltop acknowledges its inspiration from popurls, a sort of multimedia-content-aggregator-social-bookmarking hybrid site, which describes itself as "dashboard for the latest web-buzz, a single page that encapsulates up-to-the-minute headlines from the most popular sites on the internet."
popurls was started by Thomas Marban, Alltop by Guy Kawasaki along with Will Mayall and Kathryn Henkens. Marban is from Austria, Kawasaki from California, and it shows in the dramatically different visual designs of the two sites. Though there are functional similarities, the sites look nothing like each other.
Alltop was created by the team behind social bookmarking site Truemors, which they describe as “NPR for your eyes” (except that Truemors actually has some personality and manages to get by without taxpayer subsidies).
Alltop is definitely worth frequent visits to get a quick take on what's new and interesting. You'll find this blog as well as great stuff from writers like Paul Dunay, Ardath Albee, John Moore and Yvonne DiVita on the Marketing page, and the Alltop blog here.
Contact Tom Pick: tomATwebmarketcentralDOTcom