A few years ago I came across this blog post about a great new service called Stumble Upon. If you haven’t already heard of it keep reading because you’re about to learn of one of the greatest things the Internet has to offer. If you have heard of it, you’ll probably be able to relate.
So what is Stumble Upon? It’s one of the best Internet programs that I have ever found. Stumble Upon is a community-based website recommendation service. As I write this Stumble Upon has over 2 million members and growing. Members recommend websites, videos and software to other members. You start by signing up and creating an account at Stumble Upon, from there you select your interests. With dozens of interest categories to choose from you will certainly find a multiple topics to choose from. You can also create a profile to let other Stumble Upon users know who you are. At first I wasn’t so interested in this part of the website, but I have a few of my own details listed for others to see.
Okay, what’s so great about Stumble Upon? Have you ever sat down in front of your computer and not known what to do? Have you ever been bored and were just looking for something to do? We’ll sit back and hold onto your mouse, because Stumble Upon is about to take you on a wild ride.
After you’re done installing the extension onto Firefox or Explorer, you will see a new toolbar at the top. Click the little green button with the “S” in it and a random website that has been custom tailored to your interests will appear. Now what is so cool about Stumble Upon is that it has the best recommendation algorithms that I have seen to date. Other members have submitted websites that they like and tagged them. Over time other members either give the website a thumbs-up or thumbs down review. So when you click the Stumble Upon button, many times you are getting an excellent and relative website that you like. For example, some of my interests are computers, futurism and computer networking. I have discovered some of the web’s best websites on areas of my interest via Stumble Upon.
You already know how to find good websites. Finding a good website of your interest is usually done by a friend telling you to say hey check out XYZ.com. You and your friend are both into XYZ and this new website is an excellent resource. With Stumble Upon does for you, is take that concept and use the leverage of millions of friends. The power of leveraging millions of like-minded people and categories of interest is powerful.
Some of the other features at Stumble Upon has, is tagging capabilities to help you identify websites. It also has a unique TV like video service. With channels to choose from some of the best videos on the Internet, chosen by the members. Why just randomly go to YouTube and search for videos, when you could have been mediocre videos skimmed off the top. Only the best videos are presented to you based on what other people think or have rated that video. Sure, there are other recommendation services out there and YouTube has its own rating system. But Stumble Upon, makes it so easy to use and find new and exciting areas of interest. All you have to do is click the Stumble Upon button, that’s it! You don’t have to think about anything, just sit back, click the button and have the best delivered to you.
I have used the service to find some of the best software on the Internet. I have discovered some of my favorite podcasts, music and learning resources from Stumble Upon. You are leveraging the recommendations of the millions of friends to find the Internet’s cream of the crop. I can’t say how much I like the service, it’s that good. So why did I have to uninstall Stumble Upon? There are a few warnings that you should know about Stumble Upon. I think the picture below gives a little insight into what I’m about to tell.
When I was first introduced to Stumble Upon and read about it on someone’s blog. The author stated it was one of the biggest time wasters you ever ran into. I remember thinking to myself. “Well, I’ll just give it a shot”. I was hooked immediately; it was so easy to use and presented so many all some new websites and ideas that I quickly found myself spending large amounts of time with Stumble. I knew what the author about blog meant when he called it a “time waster”.
I have a desktop PC in one room in a laptop in my living room. I desktop is usually where I go to get work done in the laptop is primarily for entertainment. I had to uninstall the Stumble Upon program from my desktop, because I found myself clicking on the button and not getting things done. It’s so easy to get sucked into a new website that you haven’t seen before. After several months of my productivity going down,. I uninstalled the program. However, I did keep it on my Laptop. It’s still one of the primary sources of the entertainment and education, I mind you.
You will also enjoy the search feature where you can search all for new websites or whatever by keyword. Or you can choose a category like online games. I highly recommend Stumble Upon as a resource and entertainment directory service.
As Stumble Upon grows, so does the interest in spamming members to make a profit. Spamming members are building networks with other spammers to” thumb up” a website to get invisibility. His other techniques not mentioned in this article, but I hope that Stumble Upon fights. These attempts to hijack their system.
As I mentioned in the above paragraphs. One of the other downsides to Stumble Upon is the amount of time I spent looking at categories of interest. This is at Stumble Upon problem, but more my own inabilities to manage my time. Tell me your thoughts and your experiences on Stumble Upon. I would love to hear them. I think you’ll enjoy the service as much as I do.
Click here to start using stumble upon, start using this all some service now!