Cool Toys pics of the day: Paralympics Tracking via AllTop


AllTop: Paralympics:

While I’ve been aware of AllTop for a few years, I don’t actually
spend much time there. Guy Kawasaki brought this to my attention. I must say I am impressed.

I think I hadn’t gotten into it because I started at the top, where
the focus is on the top hits of the big name news media, and the main
topics of Work, Health, Culture, Interests, Tech, People, Good, News,
Geos, and Sports. Uh, right. Not that it isn’t an interesting
collection of categories or that there isn’t interesting stuff there,
but it is the same interesting stuff everyone else already knows
about, and that is not the point of what I am up to. So for me to find
AllTop truly useful I had to find it applied to a relatively small
scale topic of interest to me that actually had enough content for
AllTop’s technologies and strategies to be effective with it.

My understanding of how AllTop works is that they have all kinds of
nifty computer programs spidering all across the Web gathering feeds
and streams, collecting, collating, clustering, yada yada, and then
another set on the other end taking all this collected clustered data
and putting it in nice tidy attractive packages for people to browse.
This process allows them to both process pre-identified topics as well
as identifying emerging trends
(which is more useful, for me, at least). In their words:

“We do this by collecting the headlines of the latest stories from the
best sites and blogs that cover a topic. We group these collections —
“aggregations” — into individual web pages. Then we display the five
most recent headlines of the information sources as well as their
first paragraph. Our topics run from adoption to zoology with
photography, food, science, religion, celebrities, fashion, gaming,
sports, politics, automobiles, Macintosh, and hundreds of other
subjects along the way.”

What I like about the Paralympics news collection is, well, it really
is all relevant. I poked around a fair amount thinking that their
streams or filters would be sloppy and other items would get mixed in,
but I didn’t find anything out of place. The groupings were a
combination of what’s the top buzz in the news and what are leading
voices saying in the blogosphere. Me, I am still waiting to see
obvious integration of Twitter buzz. I wonder if they are doing so by
tracking leading links in specific topics, then scraping those and
merging them in with the general buzz. The obvious Twitter integration
was more simply finding the main relevant accounts and including them
as a single stream, which is pretty easy to do. Most of all, tho, I
just liked that someone in the mainstream was actually paying
attention to the Paralympics. About time.

Other things I liked at AllTop while I was there? They have special
streams for some of my fave sites – Futurity,, and then I also really
enjoy their Holy Kaw. You
just need personality to make it in social media, even with something
as automated as AllTop.


One thought on “Cool Toys pics of the day: Paralympics Tracking via AllTop

  1. This looks really interesting. I’ll have to bookmark it, so I can take an in depth look at all that is there.

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