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A social bookmarking website that allows you to find new sites based on your interests

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StumbleUpon -- treasure hunter's necessity

  • Oct 5, 2010

Treasure hunter on the non-porn web?  StumbleUpon.com is a required tool.  Suffer from ADD or ADHD?  Use the site, you may realize it’s next Thursday and your like/don’t like lists of websites has reached 4 digits.  To make matters better and worse, it runs on pcs and iPhones and iPads.

iPad’s “genius” application finder recommended the app to me one Saturday morning.  It was 4 hours later before I got up to make coffee and it was already after noon.  But I had added 10 movies I’d heard of to my Netflix list and a score of photographers to both envy and hate because of their work (all of them are in my SU Like list).

The artificial intelligence (AI) engine SU uses is similar to Pandora Radio.  When you sign up you are given roughly 40 broad topics (music, movies, cooking, fitness, etc) and about 500 subtopics (movies à foreign, romantic, indie, etc).  It takes about five minutes to set your preferences.

Web version.  StumbleUpon is a nested browser.  Once you login, the SU toolbar is situated just above the webpages.  The first button is “Stumble.”  Once the site loads you have decision, sharing, and updating options. 

“I like it” and “[thumbs down].   Selecting “I like it” adds the site to your list of favorites.  The toolbar keeps a running tab of your favorites and you can click the “home” button and it will take you to a list of all the sites you’ve tagged as favorites.  The only drawback is that the list is always in chronological order and sorting based on the way the site is “tagged” will typically lead to incomplete lists.  From what I can tell the thumbs down option is largely personal—meaning you will not see that page again but can see one just like it and your negative response does not influence what other users like you will see.

Sharing:   As with nearly every site like this, you can share your discoveries on Facebook and Twitter.  You are also given the option of sending the link via email.

Members are part of the community and you can “follow” them in exactly the same way as on Lunch.com.  And, in the same way, you can comment on sites and add ones you discover.

 Application Version:  I think the iPhone version is a dollar but the iPad version is free.  The app is easily worth a buck.  The main difference from the pc version is that it runs outside of the device’s browser.  In order to get to the full website, you have to choose the option to launch it in the device’s browser.  This can be an annoyance if you want to explore the website further beyond just the page SU loads because it means exiting the app entirely then logging back in.  This is not a failing of the service or the application, just a current limitation of the devices.

Finally it is worth noting that you are being presented webpages not websites.  For instance, it is pretty common for me to get a page that is just one single photo instead of the site it belongs to.  This is neither praise nor complaint, just clarification.

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More StumbleUpon reviews
Quick Tip by . April 29, 2011
I don't use it often these days but when you've the time to explore, this is a great site to do so which will lead you to places you've never even known existed!
Quick Tip by . June 19, 2010
great way to find new cool things on the web and to also share content over to your friends
Quick Tip by . June 07, 2010
Incredibly distracting but its helped me find some very interesting things.
Quick Tip by . September 17, 2009
Just started stumbling not too long ago. Has been a little confusing so far, but I'm getting the hang of it and discovering new sites!
review by . April 16, 2009
My friends always ask me, "How in the heck do you find these sites?"    It's StumbleUpon.  For Firefox users, you can add the toolbar, which will give you a new website based on your interests.  You can then vote up or vote down, based on your feelings... yes, feelings.    It categorizes each website in an endless number of categories, and you can even tag each site or page with whatever keywords you deem fit.  The more you use SU, the more …
Quick Tip by . August 22, 2009
This is a great website/toolbar that will enable you to discover websites and other people that share your interests.It makes the web fun!!!
About the reviewer
Paul Savage ()
Ranked #56
I name and describe everything and classify most things. If 'it' already had a name, the one I just gave it is better.
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StumbleUpon discovers web sites based on your interests, learns what you like and brings you more.
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