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I heart StumbleUpon

October 23, 2010

Everyone that knows me, knows how much I absolutely LOVE StumbleUpon (SU). I mentioned in my first post that I have over 50k posts/reviews on SU since June 2006. Yes, it’s a lot. I like it… a lot. ๐Ÿ™‚

So, what is StumbleUpon? Well, it was started in November 2001 by Garret Camp and Geoff Smith as a simple Firefox add-on. It now boasts over 10 million users, is theย  biggest social bookmark referrer and is movin’ on up with some great new features for every browser, including mobile browsing.

But I’m not here to tell you about how to get traffic from SU. You can pay for advertising or you can follow these helpful tips from my friend Xineann.ย  I’m here to tell you about the fun stuff.


The basics of SU are very simple. You install a toolbar, you select some interests and then you press the Stumble button to find “random” websites.ย  You can then rate the site by thumbing it up or down. Thumbs up means you want to see similar stuff in your stumbles, you’re recommending it to your followers and the site is also bookmarked to your profile.

You can then share with your friends on SU, Facebook, Twitter or via email and/or write a review of the website. Reviews are a way for you share your opinion on a website and will show up on your profile (as a blog). This is the creative part of SU and where I started blogging. There are/were some beautiful blogs on SU but many stumblers have moved onto blogging elsewhere because there are some basic blogging features that are missing on SU. So I’m going to focus on the stumbling.

Exactly how stumbling actually works can get a bit complicated but the one thing you quickly learn is that your friends (followings) determine the quality of your stumbles. There is a limit of 500 followings to control the quality of the recommendations you receive. There are many different ways to stumble but I mostly prefer stumbling through my followings. If I get too many crap stumbles, I normally start unfollowing people.

So, where is the social aspect? Oh, where to start! Well, there are some lovely stories about stumblers falling in love and some amazing collaborative projects like the SOC’s Christmas Story (more here). Most of these people met through the groups of SU. They’re no longer as active as they used to beย  but there are other ways to get to know a person. As usual, my friend Xineann has some good advice on how to make friends on SU.

Once you begin visiting stumblers, sharing websites and chatting with fellow stumblers, it’s amazing how well you get to know each other. I’m astounded by how much you can know about a person by seeing what they thumb up, what they blog about, what they say and what they don’t say. Many of these friends have crossed over to other social networks, and they’ve all been a pleasure to know.


So that’s my little introduction to SU. There is a lot that I haven’t covered and there are many things that the “old stumblers” may want to add. I may write some more about which groups you should visit or which stumblers you should know but, for now, go try it out and let me know how it goes.

Happy Stumbling!

~ ani

6 Comments leave one →
  1. October 23, 2010 11:10 am

    i heart stumbleupon, too. evidently not as much you do. (50k. wow.)

    i didn’t know that who you follow affects your stumbles. should have a look at that … i’ve mostly thumbed up cartoons, pretty pictures, ancient history and language stuff … if you start running into those, it’s probably my fault ๐Ÿ˜›

    i couldn’t comment last time. see whether it works this time …

    • October 23, 2010 1:58 pm

      Thanks. Your comments are now up.
      Have a look at SU’s explanation of how their technology works. Who you follow, what you thumb up (and thumb down!) does affect the quality of your stumbles. I dont think it’s an exact science… but it all contributes.
      Will see what I can find for you in my stumbles. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. October 23, 2010 11:18 am

    Cool, Anita, I like your article. Very nice, and you included “The Christmas Story” and maybe will inspire others to join in on the fun.

    • October 23, 2010 1:48 pm

      Thanks. I just want more people to love SU like I do. It’s still my favourite place online. ๐Ÿ™‚


  1. 2010 in review « stuff ani likes
  2. Stumbleupon Likes |

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