As we all know, there’s a continuing quest to encompass and, at the same time, tame the spate of information from the internet. Google is the most obvious champion in the quest: all the world’s knowledge … conjured up according to your particular search/need. Without that there’d be simply the blare of everything, which is to say, nothing. Another approach is to filter the flood through others, your friends or people whose judgment you respect: social networks perform this function, of course — Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, etc. Somewhere in between are those services that bring you streams of everything in such a way that you can manipulate the flow somewhat. Alltop is one of those.
Avowedly emulating popurls, Alltop is a categorizing tool that relies on blogs as a first order filter of what is interesting, useful, new… Seemingly all the world’s blog feeds are received and compartmentalized according to a fairly straightforward taxonomy: Work, Health, Culture, etc. at the top level, with Work, for example, broken down into a few dozen subtopics such as Nursing, Plumbing, Real Estate and the like. Law is one of these subtopics.
On the law topic page you’ll find listings for nearly 200 blawgs (including Slaw) set out in three columns, with each blog title producing a live Snap preview and followed by the titles to the latest five blog entries, hovering over which will popup a fairly lengthy excerpt.
This is, of course, a simple turn on the basic feed aggregator: instead of adding your feeds, you eliminate them. The AJAX functionality is quite attractive, making it fairly easy to scan across topics rapidly and dip into those that intrigue without the bother of page loading or even clicking. But whether this will be useful to lawyers is unclear: I suspect that for many people, Alltop will be handy because it purports to offer good or useful feeds for a user; but it’s unlikely that lawyers who follow blawgs are in need of this sort of assistance, especially where the quality and the subjects on offer here are so mixed.