Reality Check: Popurls


Popurls is a site that aggregates feeds from the likes of Digg,, Reddit, Flickr, Stumbleupon, Slashdot, Google News, ifilm, BoingBoing, Fark, etc (see very partial list in picture). This enables you to see, on one page, what much of the Internet is buzzing about—think of it as an Internet “dashboard.”

There is a fair degree of customization: color scheme, story previews, type of feeds (media or text), quantity of articles from each feed, and the order of the feeds. Feed readers provide similar functionality, but in a less compact manner.

By |2015-03-18T07:49:35+00:00September 17th, 2007|Categories: Books, Cool Stuff|Tags: |27 Comments

About the Author:

Guy Kawasaki is the chief evangelist of Canva, an online graphic design tool. Formerly, he was an advisor to the Motorola business unit of Google and chief evangelist of Apple. He is also the author of The Art of Social Media, The Art of the Start, APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur, Enchantment, and nine other books. Kawasaki has a BA from Stanford University and an MBA from UCLA as well as an honorary doctorate from Babson College.


  1. syed September 17, 2007 at 10:17 pm - Reply

    I like the site. I visit it often, quite handy

  2. Anonymous Coward September 17, 2007 at 11:07 pm - Reply

    I visit it very frequently on my BlackBerry. I wish they had a longer list of stories for smartphones.
    I don’t really visit it on PC – I just use Google Reader.

  3. Chris Brogan... September 18, 2007 at 12:51 am - Reply

    See, as a Google Reader user, it’s just not sexy for me, because I can race through my feeds super fast, app fast, and not worry about the three rows of news making me miss something.
    In the eyeball-scan sense, I think popurls drains attention, and this is coming from a guy who has 9 tabs open in firefox. It’s just not how our eyes tend to read.
    But the COMPACT nature of stuff? That’s some nice design. In the 2.0 design aesthetic, I’m often pissy about all the big open space. I want compact, because I want more screen real estate.

  4. Marc Duchesne September 18, 2007 at 12:54 am - Reply

    Netvibes and the likes do that already, with an even higher degree of customization thanks to Yahoo!Pipes.
    Popurls’ mantra should then be something like : ” online news feeds for dummies ” πŸ˜‰
    post-scriptum : this is not saying Popurls is useless. I’m saying Popurls don’t bring a really new user experience.

  5. Guy Sie September 18, 2007 at 4:24 am - Reply

    I’ve used popurls forever. Sure, other sites do it and more – but this one does what it does just fine, without the hassle of additional configuration and running heavy on my computer. I’ve got Netvibes, I’ve got Google Reader, but in my life they have entirely different uses.

  6. Brian Moore September 18, 2007 at 9:13 am - Reply

    I use popurls daily. It fits my diverse interests and allows a quick snapshot of what’s happening globally. There are more customizable alternatives that I just don’t have a lot of time for. Thomas has done a great job with a product for the masses. He also listens to feedback and has made changes over time when enough users called for them. For professional image management needs he also has a product at
    Guy, check out celumimagine and see if you can use it for your presentation materials.

  7. Adam September 18, 2007 at 10:49 am - Reply

    Popurls is my start page. There’s something to be said for a fast-loading, well designed site that updates constantly with high grade content.

  8. Mital September 18, 2007 at 10:50 am - Reply

    I think it’s a great idea. Not sure if I would use it everyday. I like the idea of a place to go to find out what is popular online.

  9. Anonymous September 18, 2007 at 11:15 am - Reply

    What the hell! I see digg and it’s ilk as story aggregators just done by people so this site is an aggregator or aggregators….and then another site will come along that will aggregate this site….this thing is getting out’a hand….

  10. anon September 18, 2007 at 12:55 pm - Reply

    I don’t really care what “The internet” is thinking; I’m more focused on what my friends find interesting.

  11. Meg H. September 18, 2007 at 2:41 pm - Reply

    That first comment stands out to me: “I don’t really care what “The internet” is thinking; I’m more focused on what my friends find interesting.”
    Nowadays, people use the internet to interact with people they already know as opposed to expanding their social horizons. It is a significant shift from the early days when people saw the internet as a way to explore new ideas and meet people with common interests.
    So, the first commenter’s opinion is an important one. I think content aggregators that focus on subscriptions to our friends opinions are going to rule over the general and topical ones.

  12. Chris Walks September 18, 2007 at 3:52 pm - Reply

    Popurls is the best site I’ve found, bar none, and I visit it every few hours. It’s way more addictive than Facebook.
    Speaking of aggregating the aggregator ad infinitum, Amanda Congdon used to do a daily Top 5 list of Popurls.

  13. Bhabishya Kumar September 18, 2007 at 4:00 pm - Reply

    The 3-column layout reminded me of the time when I used Google Personalized Homepage (now iGoogle) as my feed reader. Now I use Google Reader and I am very happy with it.
    I guess iGoogle also has some customizations now (themes, tabs etc).

  14. Biz Intelligence Aggregator September 18, 2007 at 4:46 pm - Reply

    That is pretty cool! When are we going to see Truemors in there? πŸ˜‰

  15. David Mackey September 18, 2007 at 6:37 pm - Reply

    Why would I want something like this when I can use a customized front page that will do the same such as Netvibes?

  16. Thomas September 18, 2007 at 11:18 pm - Reply

    David, not everyone’s familiar with RSS and APIs or wants to fill his newsreader with short-term stuff πŸ˜‰

  17. Matt September 19, 2007 at 5:04 am - Reply

    Never heard of it before yesterday, but now I’m fully addicted. Juxtaposed to the “I only want to know what my homogeneous circle is thinking,” I’m finding this a great way to stay somehow well-rounded. Is it a replacement to NetVibes or Google Reader? No. Is it a creative cog between 2.0news and the audience? Yes.
    ps – how Google Reader is sexier than popurls is beyond me. I find the Reader interface clumsy with square edges.

  18. Mike Panic September 19, 2007 at 5:59 am - Reply

    I wrote this article about Popurls back in March. Regarding the commenter’s that said that all the content can be added to NetVibes (or any other Ajax homepage) which is true, but I don’t want all that crap in my iGoogle homepage (my choice for running an Ajax homepage). With Popurls, I can quickly scan top stories and go from there.

  19. Craig Mische September 19, 2007 at 8:22 am - Reply

    Popurls is helpful for me to discover content and news.

  20. Mike September 19, 2007 at 8:38 am - Reply

    Ugh, if these guys get venture capital, I’ll be more than convinced we’re in Bubble 2.0. This is okay, but it’s not anything earth-shaking.
    I think there’s way too much money chasing web 2.0 deals these days.

  21. calenti September 19, 2007 at 3:02 pm - Reply

    PopURLs is incredibly addictive. Simple, clean, doesn’t want to know my zip code, offer me dates with stock photo models or tell me that mortgage rates have fallen again.
    Best. Web. Dashboard. Ever.

  22. Shakespeare's Fool September 19, 2007 at 9:18 pm - Reply

    Gee, thanks Guy.
    Another way to waste my time on the net.
    Just what I needed.

  23. adam j. sontag September 20, 2007 at 7:52 pm - Reply

    popurls has been my home page for more than a year now. it’s pretty much amazing and i get everyone else i know hooked on it if i can. not only is it one-stop-shopping, just by scanning it you can get a sense of what are the big internet community stories, real news, tips, etc. i probably could just waste my entire life on it. how do you think i got here?

  24. Martin September 21, 2007 at 6:43 pm - Reply

    it’s a cool site i think. there are so many cool sites online, so it’s difficult to pick them out from the sea. As a webmaster, i always us a web site monitoring service to monitor my site’s health and thikfree site for my files sharing, etc. If you’d like to spend some time to search, you can get paid πŸ™‚

  25. msn September 23, 2007 at 4:50 pm - Reply

    Speaking of aggregating the aggregator ad infinitum, Amanda Congdon used to do a daily Top 5 list of Popurls.

  26. Ryan Parman October 3, 2007 at 9:56 pm - Reply

    There are also a couple of knock-offs that do the same thing, including and Being the co-developer of SimplePie — a PHP development API that handles RSS and Atom feeds — we’ve gotten TONS of requests for a tutorial that allows people to replicate this very type of site. It’s quite popular!

  27. victor kostin October 6, 2007 at 1:31 pm - Reply
    It resembles to popurls but it is much more oriented to the news and plays latest news videos embedded in site. worth givin a try

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