Saturday, March 22, 2008

Meeting Guy Kawasaki and Alltop.com - Thanks Network Solutions

I have been following Guy Kawasaki's blog for over 3 years now . . On Guy's blog the first post I read was the 10-20-30 rule of PowerPoint.
Shashi Bellamkonda Network Solutions Social Media Swami meets  Guy Kawasaki

I was thrilled that Guy was doing a Small Business Networking event at 3 cities sponsored by Network Solutions and I got a chance to go to Miami and meet him. We met at the Sonesta Bay Front Hotel in Coconut Grove Florida and he readily agreed to be interviewed on video. The interview is posted at the SolutionsArePower website. Guy is a nice guy to meet and would respect even his enemies ( my take :) ). He talks very well and gets along well with people. His talk in Miami to Small Business was great. After the event we had dinner together with several Miami Twitterati and we had a good time laughing.
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I have been exchanging Tweets with Guy over his new venture Alltop.com. At the outset Alltop started to seem like a gigantic directory of websites to me. Then slowly I began to see the focus on categories and the participation of everyone in building alltop.com.
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I know Twitter provided a lot of feedback on the categories for Alltop.com and also who should be featured in the categories. I remember Guy had a wiki where he asked for nominations for top Twitter folk. I was in the list thanks to LindaSherman but not in the final page twitter.alltop.com.

Talking to Guy about Alltop.com I began to see the rationale behind the site. Guy said that he believes that there is a huge audience of people who are not yet using RSS and even if they do they have too many feeds to read. I second that, as on any given day my reader (Google Reader or FeedDemon) says I have over a 1000 unread items .I also know a lot of people who read blogs by typing the address and not subscribing. Guy says his target for Alltop.com is the people who don't use RSS and would like information on one page. Alltop pages have a collection of the latest feeds and you can mouseover and read.

How is choice for the content made ? Guy said that it is not completely a democracy - while he said Twitter was a great help in the categories there are some sites that he has to add ( I called it the Guy Kawasaki Algorithm :). As an example he said for Smallbusiness.alltop.com people look to Entrepreneur, fast company,IN for Small Business news so in such a case he adds these feeds.

I am a reader of the print newspaper. In many ways that to me is kind of the RSS principle but with a human touch. Its almost as if the Washington Post editors select news and categorize then for me. Alltop serves a similar need for individuals who want to go to specific topics and read the top 5 posts.

I could recommend Alltop.com to my friends who don't read RSS feeds and to those geeks who just want to focus on one topic. At this time I should also mention Carlos Granier has a similar site for Latin websites http://notilat.com/.

I am not sure where Guy wants to take this but here are some things that I would like to suggest:

a) Ability to share the pages in Feed readers. This can probably be achieved by being able to export a OMPL file for each category. Example: If I want to add the category smallbusiness.alltop.com to my feed reader it will save me time subscribing to the individual sites.
b) Search by feeds or categories - I may not know that there is a moms.alltop.com is there a teens.alltop.com? update: as I wrote this blogpost Guy gave me link to search alltop.com http://tinyurl.com/3cmlo5
c) Ability to embed a alltop category page like a website widget
d)Twitter.alltop.com is incomplete without http://twitter.com/statuses/user_timeline/1221471.rss
Update : Guy Updated Twitter.Alltop.com to include me ( Thanks ! Guy)

If you watch the ventures that Guy has promoted they have never been lacking in innovation.I loved FilmLoop from a few years ago. Of course Guy will probably agree as will any VC that there is no such a thing as 100% success. I am a fan and will follow his talks and the companies he backs.
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