Founded in 2001, StumbleUpon (sometimes abbreviated to SU) is a social bookmarking website that essentially coordinates the distribution of website content, whereby users “StumbleUpon” webpages recommended by friends. When a user discovers and rates a website by giving it a “thumbs up”, the website automatically becomes a favourite of that user. Conversely, if a user dislikes a site, he/she can give it a “thumbs down”. Additionally, users can “stumble” their personal interests and pastimes such as photos, videos and games.
How is StumbleUpon Used
To effectively use StumbleUpon, the StumbleUpon toolbars need to be installed on your browser: To date, Firefox, Windows Explorer and Google Chrome are the only browsers on which the toolbars can be installed. I feel that one of the reasons StumbleUpon is growing so rapidly in popularity is its ease of use. From the tools menu, you simply select which controls you need, such as Stumble, which when clicked, displays a webpage. The I Like It button is used to vote on a webpage. Incidentally, I encourage you to write a review each time you vote on a webpage, even if it’s just a few words – that enhances your standing amongst fellow stumblers. Other controls include the Share button to interact with your Facebook friends and Twitter followers; click on Stumble and you’re showed all your connections (people you’ve imported as contacts) – and you can have group conversations with any of your connections.
Another amazing feature is that you can seamlessly stumble through websites which are available for you to select. Those websites are classified as Channels, and they include YouTube, MySpace, WordPress, CNN, University Sites, Flickr and the Rolling Stones. From the toolbar, simply click on a website’s button, for example CNN, and then on Stumble, and that takes you through the pages of the CNN website. And of course there are buttons that enable you to easily share videos and photos. From a personal perspective, stumbling can be a fascinating experience. And from a business standpoint, it can be used as a powerful tool to drive traffic to a user’s website if used effectively.
Some Facts and Figures
StumbleUpon can be an incredibly useful source of traffic as evidenced by the following data:
- I was surprised to discover that StumbleUpon gets more daily traffic than Twitter.
- StumbleUpon has 50% of the social media market in the US.
- The top social media website for referral traffic for the period Aug – Sep 2011 was StumbleUpon with over 50% market share.
- Social bookmarking websites comparable to StumbleUpon are Digg, Reddit and Delicious.
When effectively used as a marketing tool, StumbleUpon helps to promote a brand name, and it improves search engine PageRank and boosts traffic. It’s also possible to analyse how well your website is performing in relation to the number of StumbleUpon visitors to your website and how they interact with it. However, be mindful that the bounce back rate of that traffic can be high – users do not often spend too much time browsing websites upon which they have stumbled.
And finally, I hope that what I’ve written has given you an insight into what stumbling is all about, and has answered the question “what is StumbleUpon”
Wishing you every Success!