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March 11, 2008

Announcing (Formally) Alltop

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"Alltop is deceptively simple. The site gathers up the best suggestions from the most active social web users and compiles links into a simple, clean discovery space. For many, Alltop will replace their RSS readers." Chris Shipley, the chairman of Guidewire Group and executive producer of DEMO.

Today we are opening Alltop, a news aggregation site that provides “all the top” stories for forty of the most popular topics on the Web. The headlines and first paragraph of the five most recent stories from forty to eighty sources for each topic are displayed. Alltop stories are refreshed approximately every ten minutes.

A good metaphor is that Alltop is an "online magazine rack" that displays the news from the top publications and blogs. Our goal is to satisfy the information needs of the 99% of Internet users who will never use an RSS feed reader or create a custom page. Think of it as "aggregation without the aggravation.” The easiest way to understand the value of Alltop is to try it--a day in the life of Alltop, if you will:

You get up in the morning and need to get a quick overview of the world news. Then you want to check what the biggest industry egos have to say as well as the latest in social media for your job. And yes, you can admit that you’re kind of a sports junkie—heck, even extreme sports, so you check out a few stories there too.

It is election season, so politics is also important, but your teenage daughter needs your help to do a report for science class. She said it can be about the environment or health. Stuff like music and cars aren’t appropriate for this report though gadgets and design might be okay. Meanwhile, what she’d really like to do is just read about celebrities, fashion, and teen news.

You’d like to find some cute pictures to entertain your kindergartner while you read what other moms are saying. Sometimes your kids drive you nuts, so thank God there’s always humor and odd stuff available. Not to mention lifehacks to help you get through the day. Still, their education and religion are very important to you.

It’s a good thing that your career is going so well because this enables you to take care of your family and pursue your passions like food, photography, writing, gaming and religion. That sure beats constantly worrying about what’s happening with your company’s website and its SEO issues. However, a successful career still means that personal finance is an important topic until that day that you can become a philanthropist to make the world a better place by stomping out crime or improving people’s health.

You are absolutely lusting for a new Macintosh even though your company uses Windows for desktops and Linux for servers. Working for someone else does drive your crazy sometimes, though, so you fantasize about raising some venture capital and starting your own small business.

At the end of the day, when everyone is asleep and all is peaceful, that’s when you can truly waste some time. What better way than check out the often meaningless, though entertaining, banter of the Twitterati? Truly, at the end of this day, you’re on top of all the top stories.

Please do me a favor and check out Alltop. I hope you like and will spread the word about it for me. Alltop, by the way, was designed and coded by the great team at Electric Pulp.

“Chasm, shmasm—it’s all here at Alltop.” Geoffrey Moore, author of Crossing the Chasm.

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