FYI – Both Blogging Innovation and In Pursuit of Elegance can be found on Alltop’s Innovation category
by Matthew E May
If you’ve clued in to how best to use Twitter — which IMHO is as a broadcast channel more than anything else — you know that you have to troll the web for value-added “newscasts” for your growing audience. That takes time, or it did, anyway, until AllTop came along and uber-evangelist Guy Kawasaki put together a killer aggregator that is not only customizable, but utterly elegant. It’s my go-to site for just about everything, news-wise. 95% of my online time is spent between AllTop and Twitter.
So why is AllTop elegant?
First, the design (or redesign, last year and again this past weekend) by Electric Pulp is clean and intuitive. (If you want to see the difference between AllTop 1.0 and Electric Pulp’s 2.0 and most recently 3.0, click on Guy’s coverage of it HERE.)
Secondly, and I think most importantly, the great form follows a most elegant function. I love the whole “create your own AllTop page.” (Here’s my AllTop page, so you can see where I draw my info from.) It’s subtractive, because I select from the universe of blogs. It’s sustainable, because it’s the bloggers continuous ideas that supply the ongoing content. It’s symmetrical (something is symmetrical if you can do something to it so that after you’ve finished doing it, it looks the same) because I select my topics, create my own magazine rack, as it were, yet the AllTop site remains unchanged. It’s seductive because you don’t get the whole blog from your AllTop page, just a snippet in the form of a rollover, which whets your appetite for the whole sushi roll.
Finally, AllTop has something missing: push, with a capital P. Content-wise, my.alltop.com is what I’d call as close as you get to a “full pull” site. Contrast that to a newspaper whose editorial staffs decides what you’ll get, or even the much bally-hooed Yahoo! redesign, which looks a little better than it did before, but they don’t get it! They’re still deciding for you what you should be paying attention to. And that simply flies in the face of where social media is flowing. (Does Alltop push? Yep. But really only what you want pushed. You pick and pull what you want form the vast selection, THEN they push. And if you don’t see what you’re looking for, you can suggest new listing heads.
And in the name of continuous improvement, the AllTop Blog has just been given a new facelift by a web firm called Out:Think.(See before and after below).
SO…head to AllTop and create your own magazine rack of the world’s best blogs! Here’s how.
Matthew E. May is the author of “IN PURSUIT OF ELEGANCE: Why the Best Ideas Have Something Missing.” He is constantly searching for creative ideas and innovative solutions that are ‘elegant’ – a unique and elusive combination of unusual simplicity and surprising power.