Every day it seems we hear about a new website or online application we should all be using. I often wonder who has time to discover all of them. So I thought I’d make it my mission to investigate a new one each month and write a blog on it. This way my readers can decide if it would be good for them based on a quick snap shot of the benefits and options it provides.
The first one I am going to write about is StumbleUpon.com – an online community that allows users to personalise the way they search the internet. It is sometimes referred to as a Personalised Recommendation Engine or ‘channel-surfing’ the Web.
How does it work? You simply sign up with a valid email account, which you can connect to your Facebook profile, and start ‘stumbling’. The site offers around 500 topics for you to select from so you can fine-tune your interests. You choose which ones you’d like to learn about and they get added to your profile. Then you hit the Stumble! button and the search engine will bring you back a random website, video, photo or article from your list of interests.
Where it gets clever is that you can click the thumbs up button to ‘like’ it or thumbs down button to ‘dislike’ it and the search engine will learn about you from these actions. The more you Stumble! the more personalised your searching will become. As you connect with friends in this community they will be able to recommend sites to you and depending on whether you like it or not, StumbleUpon will continue to shape your searches for you. Logically, the more you use this site the better the results you will get from it. Essentially it is a bit like using Google as a search engine however overtime it will provide you with a much more tailored result. To get the most from it you should download the toolbar application so that the icon is always on your toolbar for you to select ‘like’ or ‘dislike’ when you visit a site.
If your business has a website you can check whether it can be found on StumbleUpon at this page – http://reviews.stumbleupon.com/. If your site isn’t found, you will be prompted to add it to StumbleUpon.com – which has the potential to drive new traffic to your website.
As with any successful website, StumbleUpon has an advertising option as well. It is similar in concept to Facebook advertising where you can really narrow the market you want your product to be shown to, due to the amount of information the site has gathered about the users. Paid advertising is displayed with an identifiable logo on the toolbar to differentiate it from general websites.
If you are someone who enjoys ‘surfing’ the net and discovering new sites StumbleUpon is definitely worth a look. With over 10 million users internationally, if you have a website then StumbleUpon is also a valuable medium for improving your online presence. As always, if you need help with any of this please contact WebCrumbs Media Solutions at firstname.lastname@example.org or www.webcrumbs.com.au
Image from fsckin.com