How do you find information on blogs? How do you get your company's blog more known? Where do you find inspiration for what you write on that blog? There are many paths to each of these, but one covers all three areas: Alltop.
What's different about it? To start, rather then an arcane algorithm generating the search results, it's a person sifting through submitted sites, choosing the best of what comes their way.
Then, rather than just have a single place where everything jostles for attention, they break things down by category, intuitively, simply. This blog, for instance, is on the green page. There's an excellent social entrepreneurship page, where today I found a great article on web 2.0 trends for businesses to watch for in 2009. Every day I seem to see more new categories being added, the most recent I recall being on cheese. Yes, cheese.
But where Alltop really shines, for me, is in the ability it gives you to quickly scan the best, most current news from a breadth of sites under each category. Scrolling over any article title results in a good bite sized blurb of it, enough to either get a sense of an overall trend/meme developing and move on, or to decide to dig further and read that article. A real time saver.
How do you get your site on there? Just ask, here. Not everybody gets on there. And that's part of the beauty of it.
Chris Brogan gives an excellent overview of how to use Alltop for business/blogging purposes here, so I won't reinvent the wheel on that. But what I will say is that it's what happens after you're accepted to be on the site that's a lot do with it's vitality and success as a resource.
They ask that you do several things: Blog about Alltop (Hey look, it works, here I am doing it!) Add an Alltop badge to your site, with many options available to fit your site, giving your site and theirs a boost at the same time (Look over to the right. Not bad, eh?) And, when using Alltop, click the button on whatever page you're on to Twitter about it. I've not done that, but I have been taking the opportunity to promote both Alltop and GreenSmith by mentioning that I'm now on there, and giving a link to both the Alltop page and my blog. A natural double promotion.
And one last thing: Alltop is excellent for encouraging further exploration and increasing "aha"s since each page has links to other related pages, taking you to places you didn't know would be of value when you started.
Readers: So what do you use Alltop for? What are some of your favorite pages? What sites did you discover through them?
Paul Smith is a sustainable business innovator, the founder of GreenSmith Consulting, blogs weekly on green start ups of note at Triple Pundit and has an MBA in Sustainable Management from Presidio Graduate School in San Francisco. He creates interest in, conversations about, and business for green (and greening) companies, via social media marketing.