How does Alltop determine which news feeds to include on any given topic? Is there a complex ranking system like Google's PageRank, which takes into account factors such as the site's history and popularity?
As it turns out, the answer is much simpler. The news feeds that appear on Alltop are there simply because the site's founders think of them as reliable, informative and entertaining news sources. If a new site or blog pops up that's innovative and useful, there's a good chance it will show up somewhere on Alltop. And if you contribute to a blog that isn't represented on the site, you can write to Alltop and ask the founders to take a look at your work. If they find it interesting, you may see your site listed among others on important subjects.
The founders make no secret of the fact that they're also happy to help out friends. If a site or blog supports Alltop, it's a safe bet to assume that the site will appear higher up on relevant topic pages. While some people may accuse Alltop of favoritism, the founders have made their methods transparent. They outline their approach clearly on Alltop's Web site and make no apologies for their philosophy.
When a visitor suggests a new topic not yet covered by Alltop, the founders will send out feelers to the community to find the best resources related to that topic. For example, if you write a compelling and informative blog about the developments in the robotics industry, you might want to suggest that Alltop add a robotics topic. If the founders agree, they'll look around for other sources to build a full page on robotics.
If the founders decide to build a topic on their own, research duties fall to Neenz Faleafine. According to Guy Kawasaki, Faleafine's powers of research enable her to create a topic page from scratch in a matter of hours.