StumbleUpon.com: a Smart Alternative to Googling!

Posted on May 3, 2007. Filed under: Net Spy | Tags: |

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Don’t Search…Stumble!

Whether you’re a seasoned Internet veteran or a newbie learner, you know how slow it can be to search the Web. You go to Google.com or Vivisimo.com, you type in keyword phrases, and then you skim through hundreds of hits, hoping for something that interests you. By the time you’re done, you’ve spent 45 minutes to find perhaps two or three useful web sites.

There is a much smarter and faster way to search the Web. By joining a special network of Web users, you can cut your searching time in half. It’s called StumbleUpon.com, and it’s based on people sharing their destination recommendations electronically.

StumbleUpon is not a search engine driven by keywords, but rather a “browsing engine” driven by user votes.zSB(3,3)

StumbleUpon is based on a central database of thousands of users’ personal suggestions on what they consider to be quality websites. Member suggestions are categorized by topic of interest, and are updated daily to reflect thousands of members’ votes. The more that members (“stumblers”) like a particular website, the more highly that website is ranked. As a member of StumbleUpon, you get access to thousands of hours of other people’s search experiences, and can contribute your own suggestions.

Membership is free, and the database is accessed through a no-spyware toolbar you add to your Firefox or IE browser. You take 2 minutes to join the free network, and then you tell it what your personal interests are: culture, politics, trance music, pets, motorcycles, scrapbooking, health and wellness…hundreds of areas of interests.

It takes about 5 minutes total to join the network and install the StumbleUpon toolbar. Once you’re ready to try it out, click the “stumble” button, and the toolbar will link you to the top suggested websites in your stated interests. If you like the website, you can vote it “thumbs up”, which increases its ranking for other Stumblers. If you don’t like it, give it thumbs down, and accordingly fewer people will stumble upon it. You may also add descriptive comments for other stumblers to see.

With time, the database will recognize your patterns of interest, and start to pair you up with other stumblers who share your passions.

This is such an intelligent and helpful way to make the Internet a smaller and more intimate place. By calling upon other users’ experiences, it is possible to spend less time searching and more time enjoying.

StumbleUpon is definitely worth a try. Not only is its membership growing exponentially, but people are making friends with fellow hobbyists through this database. StumbleUpon.com is one of the single most useful services on the Internet today.

Visit StumbleUpon.com here, and try it for yourself. If you’re like many stumblers, you’ll Google less and browse more!

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