On Blogging and Social Media

To help educators get started with social media and blogging

Saturday, May 29, 2010

An introduction to Stumble Upon

Posted by Nik Peachey

Stumble Upon has been for some time one of my long term favorite browser plug in tools. It’s one of the best sources of interesting and sometimes offbeat new websites and can also be a great way to point people towards your own blog or website.

Just download the plug in to your browser tool bar, register for free and the discovering can begin.

So what’s so great about Stumble Upon?

  • Stumble Upon shows you new things
    The first thing that I really enjoy about it is the first button at the beginning of the toolbar. Whenever I have a spare moment or I’m feeling bored, I just click on the button and Stumble Upon will take me to a random website I’ve probably never seen before.
  • These websites aren’t completely picked at random though, the choice is based on the preferences / interests that each person puts in when they register, and based upon other sites you bookmark that you like.

  • Stumble Upon learns what you like
    Each time you come to or Stumble Upon send you to a website you like you click on the ‘thumbs up’ button and it stored in your favourites for later viewing, if you don’t like the site click the thumbs down icon and Stumble Upon will know that you don’t like those types of sites.
  • So the site learns about your preferences the longer you use it and gets better at finding things that you are likely to enjoy.

  • Focus your stumbling
    You can also focus your stumbling so that if you are particularly in the mood to find something to do with a particular interest like photography or music, you just stumble through those categories, or you can search through all you interests at random. Just use the drop down menu to choose.
  • Stumble Upon integrates with other aps
    If you are a regular user of other social networking and bookmarking applications. Stumble Upon can work with them to share what you find directly into Facebook or Twitter or help you email new find to a friend.
  • Stumble Upon is also a community
    When you find sites you like, you can also find out who added the site and who else likes the site and check out what other sites they have been adding. You can also start subscribing to their feed and becoming friends.
  • When you click on site that you like, Stumble upon also checks it’s database to see that site is a new one and if it is a new entry you can add a short review to the site. This will raise your profile with the Stumble Upon community as you’ll be credited as the discoverer of the site and will also help other people to find the sites, so getting your own sites or blogs into the system can be very helpful in bringing traffic to your site.

I hope this quick introduction to Stumble Upon gives you some idea of what a great tool this is and how you can use it. By all means check out the sites that I have found and added at: http://www.stumbleupon.com/stumbler/nikpeachey/ and if you like the things I’m bookmarking and think you have similar interests then let's become friends.

How about you?
  • How do you find new sites?
  • Do you rely on your community or are you looking for sites outside your profession?
  • What other social bookmarking tools do you use?


Johanna Stirling said...

I flirted with Stumble Upon for a while but found it fed my procrastination habit too easily.

Nik Peachey said...

Well Johanna, that's the problem with flirting. Perhaps you should commit to a serious relationship.

Personally though for me, work is 10% inspiration, 30% hard work and 60% procrastination, so Stumble Upon fits in nicely.



Karenne Sylvester said...

Tsk, tsk... you two - get back to work... oh, but then reading blogs in the ELT blogosphere is my procrastination drug of choice. Oops, back to the desk!

p.s. I looked at SU but not enough teacher-ie stuff abounded.

Nik Peachey said...

Not enough teacher stuff? That's kind of why I go there. It's good to get out of our education zone to find other stuff that we can relate back. If you use it more and keep clicking on stuff you like, it will start to find you teacher stuff though.



Svetlana_Moon said...

i often use Stumble Upon these days ... i can find so interesting original and useful things about topics i asked ... Actually even just googling some info i never found such interesting aND unique material like there ...<3

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