What Would You Like To Know About StumbleUpon?

After reading Dana Wallert’s article, 34 Stumbleupon posts that aren’t crap, I am feeling inspired to write about one of my favorite web services, StumbleUpon.

StumbleUpon is a great browsing experience, you find great content quick. It learns what you like, so great new content keeps on coming. Because of this it is a terrible procrastination tool, but I won’t hold that against it. As someone who publishes content on the net I also have an interest in StumbleUpon for the purpose of generating traffic to my blog.

I will look at two main factors of Stumble related traffic: 1) User related or organic traffic 2) Stumble algorithm related traffic

When looking at algorithm, audience score seems to be a huge factor, and it is defined at Venture Skills:

Every stumbler has an audience score, and in the old days stumbleupon told you what your score was but have since taken this facility away. The audience score was based on number of fans, number of pages thumbed up, number of pages thumbed down and number of reviews written. The score is what determines how much stumble juice a person carries.
The audience score has one other factor stumble history. If a stumbler initially stumbles a site and the site receives a large quantity of thumbs up their audience score increases, conversely if they initially stumble a site and it’s thumbed down their audience score goes down. Stumblers who stumble a site after the initial stumble also have changes to their audience score but not to the same extent.

…… and in the comments:

The initial stumbler’s audience is a huge factor as you say quite a few of our experiments when run resulted in null results even when I would stumble immediately afterwards and one particular stumble which had nearly 20 thumbs up had the total of 8 visits from stumbleupon. Interestingly this post which has received a large quantity of thumbs up has very little traffic via stumbleupon. The reason the first few stumblers were people who read the blog and regularly stumble it, now that non regulars are thumbing it its starting build traction.

What are 4 questions I would like to know about StumbleUpon:

  1. Does having more friends on StumbleUpon help the sites “You” submit do better?

    What I think: As it is possible to browse friend stumbles, I suspect that this does help get more user related organic stumbles, as the article will get more hits from those that are browsing user stumbles instead of categories. However, I would caution just adding anybody. I am more likely to browse the stumbles of those who I know. I am interested to see what they find interesting, however I am not so interested in what some random is interested in who has just added me to their friends, along with 199 others (I believe the limit is 200). The article from Venture skills also states that the initial stumbler’s audience is a huge factor in the algorithm, and the amount of friends you have is a factor in audience rating.

  2. Does writing a good review for an article when you submit help it perform better?

    What I think: I suspect writing a positive review helps get more hits from the Stumble algorithm, however it is hard to prove. Also as reviews are visible on the stumble profile / blog of the user who wrote them it will definitely gain some more user related organic hits.

  3. Is stumbling user profiles worth while?

    What I think: I read that stumbling user profiles is a good way to promote your friends, however, after reading about audience rating, I think you should be very careful about submitting or stumbling any content which you believe will not become popular.

  4. What is the weight of thumbs up versus the weight of thumbs down?

    What I think: I have 2 trains of thought on this topic. The weight of a thumbs up has the same weight as a thumb down. Or the weight of both are related to the audience score of that user, as such a thumb down by someone who is new would carry little weight, where as a thumb down by a power user is likely to carry a lot of weight.

After researching this article I think I have come to two major conclusions:

  1. Only submit and thumb up articles which you think are very good and have a high chance of becoming popular.
  2. Using stumble more will help add value to the weight of your votes, but only if you rating sites with the value they deserve.

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