We are on Alltop!

If you have never heard of Alltop, it is a site that is well worth visiting. They aggregate stories from a multitude of sites and blogs across the web to provide a quality news service that is always up to the minute.

This post is to say thank you to Alltop for accepting my blog into their network. You will find us in the inspiration section, together with other top blogs on the same subject, under the personal development heading. Alltop has a facility that allows you to create your own personal online magazine from the best sites around the world as simply as pressing a few buttons. Here’s a quick video that explains how easy this is to do.

As they say …

The purpose of Alltop is to help you answer the question, “What’s happening?” in “all the topics” that interest you. You may wonder how Alltop is different from a search engine. A search engine is good to answer a question like, “How many people live in China?” However, it has a much harder time answering the question, “What’s happening in China?” That’s the kind of question that we answer.

Why do we need Alltop? Because we need a better way of finding what we are looking for on the web. Basically, Alltop is selective, so that you only get access to top quality sites through their search and directory facilities. Is this the new Google? Well, who knows? But one thing is for sure. The web is ready for a fresh approach.

Just think of the wasted hours you have spent trawling through Google SERPS (search engine results pages) just to find those little gold nuggets; the sites that you want to visit and indeed frequent … like mine 😉 . Finding what you are looking for by making use of the currently available search facilities is not dissimilar to the process of panning for gold as we all know. In fact, I like the way that Dan Roam explained the difference between searching on Google and searching on Alltop.

The big problem is that Google works entirely automatically. Of course they constantly rework their famous algorithm in order to provide the best search experience for the user. But, as with any automated system, there is always the potential for misuse. There will always be people who want to game the system. They will work at trying to find ways of getting their sites to the top of the serps, for a given keyword or key phrase, irrespective of whether or not the site is of any real use to a human being.

Is the current situation good for the web as a whole? Of course the answer is ‘no’. When looking for information that is relevant to our interests, we don’t want to be forced to wade through pages and pages of junk content. Now, Google is, of course, more aware than anyone of the problems associated with trying to index the world’s information and make the most relevant content available to people who are searching for it. They have made a decent job of the business so far: we all know that – that’s why we use Google rather than … well pick your choice from the others: MSN, Yahoo, Ask etc.

However, without the involvement of some kind of human agents to constantly review search results, this problem is unlikely to go away. Naturally, the Google algorithm will get better and better. Of that, we can be sure. But some of us can remember that engines like Alta Vista and Excite were once top of the pops, so it is not a divine right to be the de-facto standard search engine; it is a privilege.

Google will get much better at the business of being selective – filtering, if you prefer – or the web will need to find a better way of searching. That is the essence of natural selection. That is what put Google where it is today and that is what will drive the evolution of the internet. Will Alltop become one of the front-runners in what Tim Berners Lee dubbed Web 2? That remains to be seen. Meanwhile, their fresh approach to this ubiquitous problem is, at least, refreshing.

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