Stumble Upon is such an insightful service, basically a social bookmarking service with memedigging. But where the power lies is in fed discovery and personalisation.
By telling StumbleUpon your interests, and also by bookmarking, tagging, rating, reviewing pages it learns from you and can recommend fresh pages to you based on the community database.
So not only do you use it to submit/vote for pages and tag/review them for your collection, you also get to view other people’s collections.
This is where other services stop, ie. you have the benefit of discovering new stuff by manually looking at similar tags and similar people or subscribing to feeds.
But wouldn’t it be great if there was an added option that instead of slogging through lots and lots of links as a discovery method, you are just spoon fed links that are going to be relevant to your interests, “it’s like you’ve known me all my life”.
This is where StumbleUpon takes off, in that you can hit the Stumble button and it will show you a page that it thinks matches your current profile. From this random page (based on your attention), you can then bookmark/tag/rate/review it.
NOTE: don’t forget you can bookmark pages into the database yourself, it still works as a usual bookmarking service.
Just keep stumbling to be fed new pages, this is a new form of discovery…the next page you stumble may very well depend on the last page you stumbled, it’s all based on attention.
So not only do you bookmark pages, giving to the database, you take by stumbling pages that are already in the database…other social bookmark services don’t have this, you have to surf around yourself to find stuff.
The added bonus is that it is such a treat and exciting (and addictive), as you don’t know what your gonna get.
To learn more about it and how you can use it to drive traffic to your blog see the Dosh Dosh post, a must blog for earning your online keep.
eg. StumbleUpon footer in your blog post so people can Stumble your blog post, Stumbling your own posts, get a feed for your URL to track Stumble reviews.
BTW, there’s also a video version.
I was thinking one step further, what about auto-stumbling.
Instead of me hitting the stumble button to see what I get, can’t I be auto-generated up to 10 bookmarks, and get these new bookmarks in my RSS Reader.
You could subscribe to a tag feed or a user feed or a search feed, but you can’t subscribe to an attention feed, and there are reasons for this…
The process is: after each Stumble you do an action (rate/review/tag), and based on this and your past history, the next stumble can be generated.
If you are auto-generated 10 Stumble’s, this means Stumble 2 isn’t taking into consideration the attention you gave to Stumble 1, and Stumble 3 isn’t taking into consideration the attention you gave to Stumble 1 and 2, and Stumble 4 isn’t taking into consideration the attention you gave to Stumble 1, 2 and 3 and so on.
But does this matter all that much, as long as the feed only gives you 10 at a time this is a small enough amount to still be relevant, in knowing it could be more relevant if you use it the usual way.
Within your RSS Reader, you could have the choice to click on the footer flare of each Stumble and action it (rate/review/tag). This would update the database and only when you have done this would the feed issue you a batch of another 10 Stumble’s.
I don’t know about all the technical aspects, but I like the idea of taking Stumble Upon one step further and into other applications. Maybe the auto-generated attention feed could just update you with one item at a time, this way it will work as optimal as usual.
This is a weird metaphor but here goes:
- surfing social bookmarks is spooning what you like and eating it (bookmarking it)
- clicking the Stumble button is being spoon fed bookmarks which you can choose to swallow (bookmark) or spit out if you don’t like it
- auto-stumbling would be like you have already ingested the bookmarks, and you’d have to throw-up the one’s you don’t like.