Got a case of wanderlust on the World Wide Web? Here are some quick points for and against StumbleUpon, the popular website discovery engine.
Free and easy — StumbleUpon is free to sign up for and easy to use. You don't have to do much more than create an account, pick what you're interested in, and hit Stumble.
StumbleUpon listens to you — You can rate and review the websites that you visit. This helps StumbleUpon know which types of websites you might want to visit next, and which ones you're probably going to want to avoid. You might also be doing the StumbleUpon community a favour by pointing out which websites aren't safe or trustworthy.
Join your fellow stumblers — You can join groups of StumbleUpon users who like the same kinds of websites that you do. Not only will this help StumbleUpon give you better recommendations, but you might find a cool new website just by talking to a fellow user.
Don't wander if you're lost — As its name implies, StumbleUpon is a service designed to help you explore. As a result, it won't be so helpful if you're trying to find a specific website. You're better off using a traditional search engine for that, such as Google Search, Yahoo Search, or Bing.
How much is out there? — There are over 100 million websites on the Internet today, so even if you stick to the ones that you like, you're bound to keep finding new ones. Be sure that you don't lose track of time!
Remember to take proper precautions — While StumbleUpon's users rate and review websites that they've been to, not every website that you'll be led to is safe or trustworthy. Take precautions like using anti-virus software and being hesitant when it comes to websites that ask for your personal information.
Bottom Line: 8.5/10
While not exactly "useful" in the most practical sense, StumbleUpon is a great way to explore the Internet in a way that shows you more of what you enjoy and less of what you don't. It's easy to use and free of charge, so there's really not much downside to it, besides that it might take a little while to learn your preferences, and even then, it may occasionally let you wander into somewhere you don't want to be. Use common precautions and common sense to keep yourself safe, and work with StumbleUpon as much as you can to get it taking you places that you want to go, instead of proverbial dark corners.
Overall, StumbleUpon is a great companion to what we do here at Techboomers. If you've learned all that we can teach you about websites that interest you, the next step is to go out and learn how to use a website for yourself!