Alltop, the Internet information aggregator created by Guy Kawasaki, managing director of Garage Technology Ventures, is leaving its testing phase tomorrow. Now the public at large will have a chance to decide if the site is useful.
Alltop pulls in content from all over the web and places it in categories for easy-to-use browsing. Drilling down into the categories you will see headlines from top sites in that field. Hovering over those headlines will be a glimpse of that story’s introduction. Based on that preview, a person can then choose to click on the link and go read the story on the site that published it.
Kawasaki likes to describe Alltop as the “online magazine rack.” The site recently added more categories to include what they say are the 40 most popular topics on the web. These topics include Autos, Music, Moms, Politics, etc.
If the site looks familiar it could be because you’ve seen the look before on Popurls. In fact, there was a fair amount of criticism when Alltop was in its testing phase that it was simply a Popurls knock-off. In our conversation, Guy called Alltop “Popurls inspired” and point to the fact that Popurls has a section on Alltop’s main page. “Not many people rip you off and put it on their homepage,” Guy said.
Guy went on to add that while Popurls aggregates mainly tech news, Alltop branches across many different spectrums.
The site was also criticized for being too inclusive. This no doubt comes from the fact that it includes an ‘Egos’ section which allows users to follow some of the big name bloggers and personalities on the web. This area includes people such as bloggers Robert Scoble, Dave Winer, Fake Steve Jobs – and even Guy Kawasaki himself.
Guy told us the idea is not to be exclusive, he’s open to adding any site to the service that he thinks will provide something interesting to Alltop’s users. He also noted that the ‘Egos’ section is one of their most popular ones along with ‘Celebrities‘ and ‘Mac‘ (Apple news).
Alltop also has an interesting ‘Twitterati‘ section which tracks some of the top users of the social messaging service, Twitter. Seeing all of the tweets (Twitter messages) on one page is actually more useful than you think it might be.
Guy thinks that those people not well-versed in using services like an RSS reader will find Alltop very useful. Even those who do use RSS readers might find the layout and story preview overlays useful.
The site has a ‘Venture Capital‘ section which includes VentureBeat.