How Alltop Works

Alltop Organization

Clicking on a category like Tech brings up a selection of subcategories.
Clicking on a category like Tech brings up a selection of subcategories.
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Alltop has a simple but deep taxonomy. A taxonomy is a classification system. The purpose of any taxonomy is to organize ideas -- or things, animals, et cetera -- into a logical system. The basic taxonomy for Alltop organizes topics into broad categories: work, health, culture, interests, tech, people, good, news, geos and sports. The "geos" category refers to geographically-oriented news and blog posts.

There is, however, some overlap between certain categories. Should stories about Britney Spears go in culture or people? You can find her nestled in with the culture stories. But the Jonas Brothers are in the people section. You might think that the classification system is arbitrary, capricious or completely subjective. The founders would probably agree with that. They've organized topics in a way that makes sense to them -- it's not an automated system.

Within each category are dozens of topics. For example, a click on the culture tab will bring up more than 30 subcategories. The tech category has more than 90 topics. A click on any topic will bring you to its Alltop page. This is where you'll see news stories grouped by provider.

For each provider, whether it's a big name in journalism or a relatively obscure blog, Alltop will list the five most recent relevant headlines. Alltop lists more than 50 feeds for some popular subjects, while other topics may only have a few dedicated news sources.

Within each topic, Alltop uses a subjective system to determine where on the page each news provider's section will appear. The founders organized the layout through a combination of personal preference and common sense. Trustworthy news sources with a long history of reliability tend to land higher up on pages than lesser-known sites or blogs. But if a blogger provides high-quality, relevant information on a topic, there's a good chance the founders of Alltop will rank the blog higher than more established sources.