(Migrated weblog post from LSR)
“StumbleUpon is a web discovery service which integrates peer-to-peer and social networking principles with one-click blogging. The Toolbar system automates the collection, distribution and review of web content within an intuitive social framework, providing users with a browsing experience which resembles “channel-surfing” the web”
That is the Wikipedia definition of StumbleUpon and while going through it I just cannot help agreeing with it all the way through. I have used it in the past a couple of years ago and way back then I loved the experience a great deal. However, just recently, the last couple of weeks I have rediscovered it again and I even like it more than ever before.
It has evolved so much over the last couple of years that what I used before and what has become nowadays are two completely different worlds. And I am glad I have found it again ! I shouldn’t have left it in the first place, I know, but I guess it is better to come back to it later than never, right? Anyway, the principle behind StumbleUpon is rather basic: a web browsing tool that allows you to share and discover other interesting web sites with other people according to your user profile and preferences that you may have previously defined.
Then with that common ground put in place the rest is just basically diving into the community of StumbleUpon members and get to meet some other folks who may have similar interests because they are sharing some of those web sites with you. So the social software component from this application is rather strong since through it you can meet and collaborate with other people in a seamless way. That is why you can join different interest groups and grow your relationship with other members from there. Indeed, very powerful.
You can also use the Add to friends feature that would allow you to add other people to your list of friends and therefore continue building your virtual network of contacts from there. Another great way to put to the test the social software component from StumbleUpon is the possibility of rating web sites you get to see, so you can rate them positively or negatively and therefore find some more on the same subject or not coming across with web sites on a similar subject, respectively. It will be up to you to rate those sites but here is a quick definition of what each of the ratings does:
“ I like it! – I’m interested in this site – show me more like this. Also pass this on to friends and peers with similar interests.
Not-for-me – I’m not interested in this site – I don’t want to see this site or others like it. If it looks like spam also click Not-for-me.”
So this way you always get constant feedback that you can use to tailor your web surfing experience and just bump into the web sites that meet your interests and your friends’ and forget about the rest.
There is a whole lot more to learn about StumbleUpon but I am just going to leave it up to you to check the About web link. However, one other good thing that I wanted to mention is that apart from working with IE, it also works like a charm with FireFox (Which is what I am currently using in my work machine along with Opera).
Caveats ? Well, up until now and as far as I am concerned the only caveat that I have found is that it does not seem to be working with Opera. It does not support it yet. But I am hoping that will change some day soon. We shall see. For the time being it is now time to go and StumbleUpon ! So have fun !
Oh, by the way, I nearly forgot. Lately, one of the many interesting uses that I have found about this particular application is the fact that I am consistently using it in order to find some more interesting Weblogs to follow upon, since this application has got the possibility of tailoring and improving the web sites sent out to you as I get to see more and more interesting weblogs the ones I am keeping an eye on are just coming through with just a simple click. Something that with other weblog offerings is much more troublesome. So if you are looking for worth while reading weblogs you may as well try StumbleUpon and start gathering some more !