It wasn’t too long ago that Guy Kawasaki announced Alltop, a news aggregation site that tries to make it easy to find the top stories on a slew of topics (212 at last count) from some of the better sources on the Web. One of the biggest problems with Alltop was its poor design and cluttered layout. But in a major redesign that improves the overall experience, many of those issues have been resolved.
Alltop now lets users search for topics by way of a categorical listing, alphabetical listing, or keyword search, all of which is conveniently placed on the site’s homepage. From there, you can decide to search for something specific, or click your way around the topics based on your interests.
But one of the main questions with Alltop still remains: is it a valuable enough resource to make users forget about creating their own Netvibes pages and use this service as their source for news? After some close inspection, I’d have to say that it’s getting close.
Searching around Alltop is quick and easy. I first made my way through the tech pages and evaluated the quality of the site’s tech section. It offered the latest headlines from Techmeme, which was a welcome addition, and along with TechCrunch, featured informative content from dozens of the best tech sites on the Web. It was a treat.
I had a similar experience on Alltop’s baseball page, which provided me with the latest news from each team and the latest content from some of the most reliable sources in the sports realm, like Small White Ball and Mudville Blogs. The information was categorized well and, with the option to hide the less useful sources, I was able to shrink the page to a more manageable size.
In each category, the experience was much the same: simple, elegant, useful. And compared to Newsflashr, Alltop’s main rival, it was a treat to see a site that’s actually designed well and not so excruciatingly ugly. That said, Newsflashr offers a Techmeme feed that lists the latest headlines from each of the the top 100 Techmeme sources, which may come in handy for Techmeme fanatics. (Alltp, how about a Techmeme Leaderboard page?)
Alltop’s redesign makes up for some of its earlier shortcomings and is ideal for anyone trying to find one place to read all the best news.