I've been on SU for a long time, it is one of my favorite internet services. It started a long time ago, and quickly harnessed the power of social media... before the term was even coined. I highly recommend it to anyone that's looking to find better and more interesting stuff. I'll give you a quick rundown on how it works.
You sign up, and you select your topics. Topics are areas of interest that you care about, there are a few hundred but you're allowed to pick 127 (last time I checked). Make sure you have installed their toolbar (don't worry it is safe). Then when you're ready to start using it, you click on the "Stumble!" button. StumbleUpon will then, begin to give you websites each time you click on the button. After you get to a website, you can use the "thumb up" or "thumb down" buttons to rate the site. You have to select topics you're actually interested in and it will in turn give you the best of the web. Its like surfing the best channels on your TV, but for the internet, but you can also use it with a purpose.
Practically speaking, I get maybe 8 out of 10 websites that are good, and maybe 2 - 5 are excellent. I take the time to thumb up and down the websites as I see the content.
Why I like it
I also love SU because from time to time, when one of my pages gets thumbed up, I get hundreds and sometimes even thousands of visitors. Engaged and targeted visitors. Naturally it attracts marketers and webmasters trying to get some of the traffic that SU can give you. If you approach SU with the goal of getting traffic, you will be disappointed in two fronts. Your experience with using it will be boring and tasteless, and your traffic results will not be worth your time. It's hard to cheat at SU, especially when you have some really active user base.
Here are some tips to help you have a good SU experience:
- Don't discovery your own pages. Let people in your network do it for you. If its good, it will happen naturally, if you need a boost ask for one politely and don't over do it.
- Your profile tells all about how you stumble, read it, check it out and adjust. People look at it, especially your discoveries.
- Discoveries are the gold of our profiles, don't saturate them with frivolous sites. If you have pages and pages of discoveries with only 1 - 3 views, you should re-evaluate.
- Let your network discover one of your pages and they'll be more inclined to stumble your pages later on.
- Its easy to be marked as an adult stumbler and your profile will no longer be visible to non-adult stumblers.
- Don't abuse your ability to send messages via the stumble bar.
- Do stumble up. It makes good websites surface.
- Do stumble down when its really bad. Classify it if it needs it.
- Do allow toolbar sends from people you really like.
- Follow people that are in the 40-60% compatibility range once in a while, they'll often surprise you with great discoveries.
- When you explore another person's profile, check out these sections:
Discoveries, Tags & We Both Like
- Try the stumblethru options instead of the regular Stumble! button.
- Try a search in a topic you're interested about.
- When you discovery a page, do give it a description and maybe a sentence on why you found it interesting.