Sunday, March 2, 2008

Have You Stumbled Recently?

You may have wondered why I places quotes around the word stumbled in the first sentence of yesterday's post. I chose to do so since I literally Stumbled Upon the site. If you've lived under a rock for the past year or so, you may not have heard about this little social media tool.

The basic concept sounds simple—you install their toolbar and give sites a thumbs up or a thumbs down if you feel your reaction is strong enough to warrant it. You click the “Stumble” button if you'd like the site to send you to one that other users have liked, based on your interests and their tags.

Realistically, the amount of dreck on the web and the number of people who share your taste in just about anything means that you'll run across plenty of crud. You can find gems, however, if you're patient enough. And you get the opportunity to vote against the types of sites that you really dislike, such as poorly-worded lolcats and un-funny cartoons.

You must participate at StumbleUpon to see any real benefits, though. Review other sites, click those thumbs, and join some groups. The occasional submission of your own work won't raise any eyebrows, but you're intended to recognize the good (and bad) jobs that others have done.

I get little direct traffic to this blog from them, although it was submitted there by someone else. I “stumbled” the site where I attempt to organize my posts by topic, and that has received about 8 people a day through StumbleUpon. Many of those visitors click through to read these posts. I discover new sites and posts I'd not have found on my own. It's social networking that works. What's not to like?