Guy Kawasaki’s Visit to Ireland: Art of the Start and Alltop.com
Guy Kawasaki, a well-known entrepreneur, investor, author, and public speaker, visited Ireland to deliver his Art of the Start talk at the Irish Software Association’s annual conference. With a packed house waiting to hear his insights, Guy delivered his ‘Irished-up’ version of the talk, which was warmly received. Despite his busy work and tourist schedule (this was his first visit to Ireland), Guy found time to sit down and discuss his online life, how he stays in touch with everything that is going on out there, and his new venture, Alltop.com.
Staying on Top of Online Activities
When asked about how he handles his online activities and email, Guy acknowledges that it takes sheer determination. He spends hours every day answering emails while also relying on an online assistant to handle the easy ones. Guy is attached to his Air, and he admits to being about six standard deviations from the norm when it comes to feeds. As the content guy behind Alltop.com, he has personally found approximately 1,200 feeds for the site.
Essential Online Tools
Guy’s main tools, aside from Office 2008, are MarsEdit, Ecto, Typeit4me, GrabberRaster, Yojimbo, and NetNewsWire. He has found all of these tools essential for his roles as a venture capitalist, blogger, and entrepreneur.
The Idea Behind Alltop.com
When asked about the gap he spotted that led him to develop Alltop, Guy reveals that they saw how popurls was sending Truemors as much traffic as Google. They started with Celebrities because they thought it would attract fans of celebrity news. Then they added Fashion, Sports, Gaming, Macintosh, and just kept on going. Now, there are more than 20 topics. While some people have accused Guy and his team of stealing the idea for Alltop from popurls, Guy points out that they had asked Thomas Marban if he felt robbed before launching the site. He acknowledges popurls all over Alltop, with two links to popurls on their home page.
Alltop’s “Aggregation Without Aggravation”
Guy acknowledges that RSS tools, especially readers, have low takeup among web users. This is the conceptual gap that Alltop addresses, providing “aggregation without aggravation.” According to him, it’s not easy to find RSS feeds on many sites, and companies literally bury them. Besides, using RSS requires users to find the feed on the site, know and get feed readers like Netvibes, Pageflakes, iGoogle, or others, learn how to use them, remember to boot a separate app, or go to a personal page to read feeds. Even if they do all that, most feed readers do not present articles in a clear and compact way. Therefore, Alltop is for people with more money than time, while personalization is for people with more time than money.
Alltop’s Customization and Personalization
While there’s no such thing as “My Alltop” for anyone except Guy himself, customization and personalization may become possibilities in the future. He admits that it isn’t a no-brainer to do this since the people who want personalization can already access that via other products and sites he mentioned. Alltop is for those who will never hear about or use those sites. He thinks of Alltop as an online magazine rack where people quickly scan through the available magazines and stories, choosing what to read. Those who consistently like only a few magazines should buy a subscription via an RSS feed or custom page or feed reader. However, anyone who really wants personalization can contact Guy, and he’ll build an Alltop topic just for them. He adds that it only takes money.
Alltop Topics and Instagram Inspiration
Regarding demographic fine-tuning on Alltop, Guy thinks it’s Mission: Impossible since people of the same age group are not necessarily interested in the same things. Instead, there’s a topic for anyone interested in particular things, like cars (autos.alltop.com) or fashion (fashion.alltop.com). Guy’s favorite Alltop topic is hard to say since he loves all his children. However, he picks Egos.alltop.com as the most controversial, while Twitterati.alltop.com is a fascinating real-time snippet of what interesting people are doing. Lastly, Nonprofit.alltop.com has the potential to change the world the most.
Monetizing in Blogging
Monetizing blogs still seems to be the holy grail for many bloggers, but Guy views it as over-rated. Pursuing passions only for the sake of making money won’t lead to anything. He plays ice hockey four to five times a week, which will never make him any money. Some people write journals or play music for the love of it, and they may not make any money on it. Guy notes that everyone is different when it comes to goals and objectives in life.
Guy Kawasaki’s visit to Ireland was a success, given the warmth of the reception he received at his talk on Art of the Start. His new venture, Alltop.com, has already made huge strides in the online world, with over 20 topics available for users to choose from. Alltop’s “aggregation without aggravation” focus has the potential to change how people access information online, while customization and personalization are possibilities if users are willing to pay for it. Guy’s final thoughts on monetizing blogging show that one should pursue passion for its own sake and not solely for monetary gain.