March 20, 2009

AllTop's Custom Pages Finally Tip Me to Using the Product

For some time now, Guy Kawasaki's AllTop service has been building out a wide array of pages dedicated to specific topics, highlighting bloggers (and their RSS feeds) who specialize in their market, be it in technology, business, news or sports. And I've largely ignored it, as I get all my news from Google Reader and social networks, like FriendFeed and Socialmedian. But this week's introduction of custom pages had me jumping on the opportunity to build out my own custom AllTop site, which, if I keep it maintained, could be a great "back page" to my site, highlighting the many blogs who bring me the best content each day.

If you're a longer-term reader of the site, then you know I try to highlight five new lesser-known blogs each month, and have done so for a year. The March 2009 edition is coming, I promise. I also have had the privilege of hosting some great co-authors who have strong blogs themselves. While the URL might read, the site is as much about these other sources for news as it is around me or the entrepreneurs and services we highlight.

The new custom AllTop lets me select from the many different AllTop pages throughout the service's network, and add them one by one to my own page, where I can move them higher or lower, left or right, in an attempt to deliver a one-stop page for the extended network.

My custom AllTop, which you can find at, shows not only the blogs from my co-authors, including Rob Diana, Jesse Stay, Mona Nomura and others, but also some interesting feeds from around the Web, including GrowMap, Conversation Agent, and Matt Cutts. I can also, thanks to AllTop's flexibility, pull in FriendFeed streams from active people on the site, including myself and Mona.

The end result is a page that mirrors Duncan Riley's work at Inquisitr IQ. I found myself cherry-picking the best of the Web from AllTop pages focused on Google, Twitter, Tech, Macintosh, FriendFeed, Egos and Social Media, for starters.

While AllTop calls them custom pages, there's still a lot of work to be done for them to truly be "custom". I can't customize the look and feel of the page, nor can I import feeds that don't already exist in AllTop. So if they haven't done the legwork to find a blog I would like to highlight, then they won't show up on my page. But it's absolutely a solid start, and one that I intend to build out more over time, and add to my sidebar somewhere, to keep you updated on the sites and people I find most intriguing.