Stumblin’ Around Part 10
There are some really cool features in StumbleUpon. I’ve tried to cover all of the basic functionality of the service in my prior blog about Stumble. Today I’m going to go over a few of the more advanced features.
Now next to the button is a button labeled “All” with a drop down arrow. Click the drop down arrow and you get a list of items and a list of your interests:
You can choose any of the icons or select any of the interest categories you have chosen. When you do the “Stumble” button will change to show that you are Stumbling a particular category. For instance, if you choose “Photos” on the drop down menu, the button will look like this: . Now when you click the button it will only display pictures. You can also choose from videos, news, stumble friends, people, or page from specific users. To go back to the normal Stumble function, just click the drop down again and select “All” . These categories are referred to as “Channels”. You can also change the channels to Stumble by selecting the icons further to the right on the Stumble bar .
If you click the drop down arrow next to the crossed green arrows you are given the option to pick a website to “Stumble Thru”. This will only display items from that websites domain. Here is the list.
So you can now Stumble the best videos on You Tube, the best pictures on Flickr, even the best blogs on WordPress. Not to mention you can choose one of your specific interest categories to Stumble through as well.
My two favorite features of the Stumble bar are the “Search” and the “Share” . Search is under the “All” drop down arrow with the other “channels”. It works in much the same way except when you select this you get a pop up box:
Type in anything you want to search for and click OK. Now when you hit the Stumble button you will be given web sites that have a tag matching your search terms. Keep in mind that thousands of other people may have tagged the page your seeing so someone may have put in a tag that doesn’t quite line up to what it is you had intended. I find most of the tagging pretty accurate. It makes it very easy to find quality content fast, much better sometimes than having to look through all of the Google entries until you find exactly what you’re looking for.
Share is also great. Click this button and it allows you to Share a website with other friends. You can upload the URL to your Twitter feed if you want. You can send the website to an email address, or just one of your other Stumble friends. I personally like the email feature. I can email the page to myself so I can go back to it later. While all the pages you Stumble and “Like” are saved on your Stumble account page as “Stumbles” or “Favorites” respectively, it can sometimes be hard to find a particular page if you didn’t tag it or don’t remember when you Stumbled it. Especially when you have over 32,000 Stumbles and 6,200 favorites (like me).
The other thing that bears mentioning briefly about StumbleUpon is that it is not meant to be a quick and dirty way to get traffic to your website. So don’t go around giving all of your sites the “Thumbs Up”. I’m not sure if the User Agreement specifically mentions this or not, but your free to give it a look-see and let me know. StumbleUpon has recently banned some users for spam or other inappropriate behavior (more info about that here and here), so make sure what you’re “Thumbs Up”-ing is because its legit and you like it and not because you’re trying to link bait as many people you can into your Ad Sense farm. As far as I can tell though, there’s nothing wrong with giving a friends site or blog and “Thumbs Up” either because you like the site or want to help out your friend. Just be careful as to how often, because you may look like your trading “Thumbs Up”s which is frowned upon. It’s not perfect yet, nothing is.
StumbleUpon is a business though and does have some new sites and services that work with Stumble, including some paid submissions and ad services, so you may want to do research on those if increasing traffic is your thing. I personally think that if you have a site that provides some value to the reader or customer, then you shouldn’t need to trick people into going there. They will go there because they like the site.
There are probably a lot more advanced tricks with using StumbleUpon to build site traffic. I know quite a few of my Stumble friends send me their blog pages through the “Share” service and ask me to “Thumbs Up” or review it if I like the page. I don’t see anything wrong with that, the site is meant for networking after all. There are also some options to configure with the toolbar itself, but those are pretty self-explanatory, so I’ll let you figure those out yourselves.
So there you have it. That’s how I use Stumble. What do you like most about StumbleUpon? What do you use it for? As always if you have a question, or a suggestion for a future blog topic, please leave me a comment. And hey, if you like the blog a “Thumbs Up” wouldn’t hurt either.
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