I have certain categories of news I read, but I often try to hit the “most popular” areas of news sites. I often get stories I might have missed, and it’s interesting to see what stories interest the world in general.
Guy Kawasaki has channeled that kind of interest into a new site called Alltop, which takes forty popular topics and offers “All the Top” stories from each of the topics. (Between 40 and 80 sources are used for each topic.) Kawasaki is quoted as saying “Think of it as aggregation without the aggravation.” This is cute but I’m thinking more “Think of it as a quick way to get the news when you’re not near your home computer.” The site’s available at http://alltop.com/ .
I love minimalist design sites. Alltop has a basic site with the topics grouped into categories including Work, Living, News, Geekery, etc. The only color on the front page is an obnoxious orange band that doesn’t move as you scroll up and down the screen.
Pick a topic and you’ll get an equally-minimalist page listing a variety of sources and the five most recently stories in each. The Crafts Page, for example, includes Whip Up, Angry Chicken, and Thimble. Hold your mouse over a headline and you’ll get the time, date, and first paragraph of the post. Click on the headline to get to the full post.
The About Page answers a variety of questions about the site, including how sources are chosen, how the order is chosen, the story behind the obnoxious orange band, etc. I wouldn’t use this at home because I have much more specific RSS feeds I refer to. But I think I will use it for quick headlines at work, or as a tool for my husband to keep up with political news.