StumbleUpon is cool. And fun. And interesting.
StumbleUpon allows you to discover new and worthwhile websites. It’s based on a simple rating system. Other users flag a website as something they like or don’t like. When you “stumble” (i.e. click the stumble button in the StumbleUpon toolbar you have to install in Firefox or IE) you’ll only see sites that others have flagged positively. These people might be in your network of StumbleUpon friends or like-minded stumblers; those that have indicated they share similar interests.
You can pick the categories of sites you’re interested in, and the toolbar installation is dead simple.
Each person gets their own StumbleUpon page that lists the pages they’ve rated, reviewed, etc.
I’ve spent the last couple of days stumbling around, and I’ve found a host of interesting sites. I’ve flagged a few as sites I like, and reviewed a site or two as well.
I haven’t really explored all of the networking features and opportunities with StumbleUpon, but I hope to over the coming days. And we’ll see what happens in terms of connecting with others and growing traffic to IGotNewsForYou and Where Is Basil.
In the meantime, I’d recommend you give it a try. The Web is a big place. Ya, that’s obvious, but I think you’ll be surprised just how much is out there that’s interesting and worthwhile (and not necessarily that easy to find on search engines.)
What I find even more intriguing about StumbleUpon is that they already have a business model in place. They accept advertising (but not in the traditional banner ad way) and they offer a premium service. When you advertise, it looks like they push out your site to people stumbling around that have expressed an interest in your site’s category. They will identify your site as a sponsor so there’s no secrecy involved, and I think this model makes complete sense. I’d say that StumbleUpon’s business model is further evolved than most social bookmarking sites, and that has to bode well for them.
I don’t know how well StumbleUpon is doing, but I’d be curious to find out…
Enjoy! And let me know what you think of StumbleUpon if you’ve used it already or try it after this.