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An Antidote to Filter Failure

By Merrilyn Astin Tarlton

Clay Shirky, Internet expert and author of Here Comes Everybody, says “It’s Not Information Overload. It’s Filter Failure.” Enter Alltop, my personal favorite way to keep on top of everything that I need to be “expert” about.

The Alltop folks say it is their purpose to help you answer the question, “What’s happening?” How is that different from search engines like Google? Well, Google can answer a question like “Who is the president of Fischer Price?” But it is more difficult and far more time consuming to use Google to keep on top of “What’s happening with Fischer Price?” The latter is perfect for Alltop.

Once an hour, Alltop automatically gathers headlines of the latest stories from the best sites and blogs that cover a particular topic. These collections  or “aggregations” are grouped into individual topic web pages where the five most recent headlines per each information source are listed. Hover over a headline? You get the first paragraph. Click on the headline? Go to the full article.

Topics run from advertising to zoology with law, venture capital, pathology, business intelligence, biodiversity, and hundreds of other subjects along the way. Look at the entire list. Then see what Alltop watches in your world.

MyAlltop is a great feature that lets you personalize your Alltop browsing and news reading experience. You select only the blogs you want to read whenever you visit the site. You can share your selection with friends and other contacts, too. And adding blogs and websites is as easy as clicking on the + sign that you see while browsing the main Alltop site. (It’s also fun to see the MyAlltop lists of celebrities.)

Think of Alltop as the “online magazine rack” of the web. It enhances your online reading by displaying stories from sources that you already visit regularly—and it helps you discover brand new sources, too.

Merrilyn Astin Tarlton has been helping lawyers and law firms think differently about the business of practicing law since 1984. She is a Fellow of the College of Law Practice Management, among the first inductees to the Legal Marketing Association Hall of Fame and Adjunct at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law.

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Categories: Daily Dispatch, Lawyer Productivity, Lawyer Time Management, Legal Technology
Originally published February 17, 2011
Last updated May 5, 2018
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Merrilyn Astin Tarlton Merrilyn Astin Tarlton

Merrilyn is the author of “Getting Clients: For Lawyers Starting Out or Starting Over.” She has been helping lawyers and law firms think differently about the business of practicing law since 1984. She is a founding member of the Legal Marketing Association, an LMA Hall of Fame inductee, and a past President of the College of Law Practice Management. Merrilyn was a founding partner of Attorney at Work. 

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