The Best Way to Waste Time on the Internet

28 Sep The Best Way to Waste Time on the Internet

I recently discovered the best way to waste time on the Internet and no, I’m not talking about the “Like if you agree” campaigns on Facebook that do absolutely nothing and raise absolutely no money for any cause. I’m talking aboutStumbleUpon.

StumbleUpon is a discovery engine that finds and recommends web content to its users. It’s really as simple as that. You tell StumbleUpon what your interests are and StumbleUpon recommends websites and web content based on that information.  Interested in public relations, either set that as an interest or type it into the “Explore an Interest” box and see what comes up. Like the content that appears? Give it a thumbs up. Don’t like the content that appears? Give it a thumbs down. Telling StumbleUpon what you do and don’t like strengthens the algorithm it uses to suggest websites and content based on your interests.

So how should you use StumbleUpon? For many website owners it’s a great source of traffic generation.

StumbleUpon has an almost infinite database of content but it still relies on users to “stumble” new content when they find something they like. Users are able to “discover” new sites and add them to the database, tagging them appropriately so they’ll come up for others who are interested in that same topic (Hint: If you use StumbleUpon and like this post you could stumble it and add it to their database, perhaps tagging it: public relations, social media, stumbleupon.)

However, StumbleUpon wants its database of articles and content to be based on unbiased readers’ suggestions of enjoyable, worthwhile posts, so excessively galaxy note8 thumbing up your own content is frowned upon. From what I’ve seen the general rule of thumb is for every 10 pieces of content you stumble, you can stumble 1 of your own.

Although you should avoid coming across as a self-promotional spammer, StumbleUpon has a strong social network aspect that allows for the sharing of content with and by followers.  There are others though who cover the social aspect of StumbleUpon better than I and I’ll include a few links below.

Jon Mitchell at ReadWriteWeb summed up StumbleUpon pretty well when he wrote in his article “What is the Point of…StumbleUpon?,”, “StumbleUpon is for those times you just want the Internet to show you things. You don’t want to search, you don’t want to browse, you just want wonderful things to appear.”

Like all social media channels, if used correctly StumbleUpon can be effective but it definitely requires spending a lot of time building your network and not getting distracted by all the great content displayed before you.


What is StumbleUpon and How to Use It:

How to Use StumbleUpon to Drive Traffic to Your Website:

Why You Should Use StumbleUpon as a Marketing Tool

Jennifer Edgerly
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