How Does StumbleUpon Work?

Now that you know a little bit about what StumbleUpon is, how about learning about what it actually does, and how it does this?

Basically, StumbleUpon is known as a "social bookmarking" website.  This means that it's a virtual community where users get to choose what they want to see in it, offer their opinions on what they see, and share what they see with people both inside and outside the community.  StumbleUpon analyzes these actions to get a sense of what each user likes or doesn't like, and shows them more of the former and less of the latter.

The following is a breakdown of what that means in terms of what you can do with StumbleUpon.

Tell StumbleUpon what you're interested in

StumbleUpon categorizes all of the web pages and content in its library into different "interests".  Are you a cat person or a dog person?  Do you like drama or comedy?  Is golf your sport, or perhaps tennis?  Are you into big band music, or classic rock?  With over 500 unique interests (as of the writing of this article), there's bound to be something new on the Internet that StumbleUpon can show you that you're going to like.  This will get you started with discovering what the Internet has to offer.

Let StumbleUpon know how you feel about where it takes you

If you find something on the Internet by using StumbleUpon, and you love it or decide that it isn't for you, then go right ahead and show it!  You can "like" a website, or even add it to a custom "list" of similar websites so that you can find it and get back to it whenever you want.  Conversely, if you're turned off by a website for whatever reason, you can "dislike" it, and perhaps also tell StumbleUpon why (e.g. the web page doesn't load or work correctly, or you've already seen it, or you think someone has miscategorized this website).  Based on what web pages you "like" or "dislike", StumbleUpon will learn your preferences, and direct you towards some content and away from other content.

Get social with StumbleUpon

There's a lot more to StumbleUpon than just seeing new things on the Internet and telling StumbleUpon whether you like them or not!  You can leave comments about the websites that you see, and see what other StumbleUpon users have said about that website.  You can also connect with other StumbleUpon users and follow their "lists" of favourite websites; they can do the same with you!  You can even share web pages that you find on StumbleUpon with other StumbleUpon users, or — if your friends don't use StumbleUpon — through email or your other social media networks!

 

That's a brief explanation of how StumbleUpon works!


StumbleUpon Review

Got a case of wanderlust on the World Wide Web?  Here are some quick points for and against StumbleUpon, the popular website discovery engine.

Pros

  • 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.

Cons

  • 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!


What is StumbleUpon?

Here at Techboomers, we're committed to helping you discover and learn about the most popular websites on the Internet.  With that said, we realize that you're a unique individual with specific tastes, so we can't possibly cover every website that you would be personally interested in.  That's where a website like StumbleUpon comes in handy. 

Created in 2002 by Garret Camp and Geoff Smith, StumbleUpon is a website that allows you to use what you like about the Internet to find more of what you like, and to find people who like the same things that you do. 

Why use StumbleUpon?

  • Feed your web wanderlust!  Tell StumbleUpon some of the general things that you like, and then jump to a random web page, video, or picture that is categorized as one of your "interests" with a click of the Stumble button!  You never know what you might find!

  • Whenever you visit a website, or see a photo or video on the Internet, you can let StumbleUpon know whether you like it or not.  StumbleUpon will use that information to show you more of what you like, and less of what you don't.

  • Can your feelings about something you find on StumbleUpon be put into words?  Leave written comments about what you discover, and see what other people who have discovered certain content had to say about it.

  • If you like something that you find on StumbleUpon, you can also share it with someone else via email or social media, or over StumbleUpon directly!

  • Connect with other StumbleUpon users, or even famous brands and celebrities, and wander around in their lists of favourite web content!

Now, get out there and see what you can discover… the Internet is waiting for you!