As promised, I want to explain a bit about StumbleUpon which I mentioned with regards to Oh How Lovely! the other day. This will also give you a bit of an idea of one of the many things I do at work all day.
StumbleUpon is a social bookmarking tool which means that it is a social network (like Facebook or MySpace in that it allows millions of users to connect through shared interests or backgrounds on the same website) based around your favourite sites on the internet. At it’s most basic, StumbleUpon stores your web favourites and bookmarks online so that you can access them from any computer. But where things get interesting is when you bring in the rest of the social network.
When you register with StumbleUpon, you enter your interests and install their toolbar to your web browser (which adds another row of buttons to the top of your screen when you’re on the internet). That toolbar includes a little graphic that looks like this: and when you click that button you are taken to a random page on the internet that someone else who is a member of the site had added to their list of favourite bookmarks and tagged with an interest of yours.
For example, let’s say that I discovered a page on this blog, saved it to my favourites on StumbleUpon and tagged it with the word ‘London’ (you need to provide tags for all bookmarks you save). Then, let’s say you registered for StumbleUpon and listed ‘London’ as one of your interests. When you click the button, you might see my page appear on your screen – simple as that! Of course it gets a bit more complicated… in the tool bar you can give sites a or which makes it more or less likely that others will see it again.
Where this all gets very interesting is when you look at how StumbleUpon can be used from a marketing perspective. With millions of people out there using the button, you want to make sure your page appears when they are looking for interesting sites. It’s a very simple way to reach people who are interested in your content who may never have heard of your website. On Spoonfed, we have hundreds of articles including great music reviews, writeups of art exhibitions, theatre commentary and more that’s not necessarily unique to London – we’d like people around the world to start noticing our quality content.
StumbleUpon has a pretty smart algorithm and you can’t just favourite your own site thousands of times hoping other people will see it. The more diverse your own account is, with lots of different favourite sites from a number of interest groups, the more likely it is that a new find will appear to lots of other Stumblers.
Confused? The important things are that StumbleUpon lets you save your bookmarks online so that you, or any of your friends, can always access them from any computer AND it helps you find sites throughout the internet that match your interest but you may never have heard of. Keep clicking around and if you see The Top Floor Flat or Spoonfed pages appear, be sure to give me a !