StumbleUpon!

     By AddSomeStitches

I stumble… do YOU?!
StumbleUpon is a discovery engine. It finds and recommends web content to StumbleUpon users. Users can rate web pages, blogs, photos, and videos. The toolbar works for Firefox, Mozilla Application Suite, Google Chrome, and Internet Explorer; there are third party toolbars created for Safari and Opera, as well. StumbleUpon uses collaborative filtering, which is a system that looks for users who share similar rating patterns with active users and using the rating from those people to calculate a prediction for the new user. Users rate a site by giving it either a thumbs up or a thumbs down on the toolbar. There is also an option to leave commentary on the site’s review page.

When I’m looking for an interesting web experience, I use StumbleUpon. I have my own list of interests that I can change at any time, and search through. The great thing about StumbleUpon is, you can follow your friends like you can on twitter and see each of their favorites.

We’ve gone over WHAT StumbleUpon IS, now to get started stumbling!

First, we have to create an account to get started. So, go to the StumbleUpon homepage and click on the “Join StumbleUpon” button on the main navigation bar. You’ll have to fill out the registration form; which includes choosing a user name, entering an email address, picking a password, and specifying some details such as gender and birth date that can be hidden. After that, you can upload a profile picture if you want. After your registration is complete, you choose your topics of interest. This was one of my most favorite parts. You can choose from a little over 500 interests such as arts/history, computers, health, media, outdoors, sports, etc. These topics will help you find stumbled sites that are tagged to your topics. You can connect with your friends using the Find Friends button on your sidebar on your profile page. You can follow and be followed, similar to twitter.

Next, you have to download the web-bar for StumbleUpon. Go to THIS page and there will be options to download for your Operating System/Browser.

There are stumble buttons for Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome; PC and Mac users. For Safari and Opera, there is a bookmarklet that is dragged to your bookmarks toolbar, no installation required; just drag and drop into the bookmarks bar. There are also apps for the iPhone and iPad that can be downloaded from the iTunes Store, as well as an app for Android from the Android Market. Now that you have your toolbar in place, you’ll see a “Stumble!” button, “Like it!”, and a thumbs down button. Change the topic of interest from within the toolbar. When you find a page you really like hit the “Like It!” button. The toolbar will also allow you to share your finds on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

If you come across a page that hasn’t been stumbled before, you’ll have to review it. To review a page, you’ll get a page that looks like this:


You’ll get a tag cloud to pick from, but you can also type in your own tags. Add keywords that will help others find your page. You don’t want to add a “sports” tag for a great cupcake recipe, or vice versa. If you want to leave a few words for a review you can, although not mandatory. Click “Submit” and you’ve just stumbled your first unreviewed site!

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