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What is StumbleUpon and how does it work?

What is StumbleUpon?

Stumbleupon is basically a tool that let the user find content in categories he likes. Fan of astronomy? Have a look at this picture, that video, the blog overthere, ...

The user has then the possibility to "like/thumb up" what he sees "dislike/thumb down" or stumble forward. The liking of the user is taken into consideration to know what to display next (you liked comic strips about astronomy, here some more, you disliked everything that had something to do with humor/jokes, here are the serious articles).

From StumbleUpon website: 

"We help you easily discover new and interesting stuff on the Web. Tell us what you like, and we’ll introduce you to amazing web pages, videos, photos and more that you wouldn’t have found on your own."

How does it work?

Well, the algorithm used to decide which content to display to which user is complex and of course secret. The better the algorithm is, the more the user is likely to use it, the happier StumbleUpon is. So, they must be working a lot on it and will probably not reveal their secrets.


However, there are a few things that are well-known: StumbleUpon likes people who use their tool to enjoy the content (people reading articles, watching the clips/videos, ...), to rate the content (like/thumb up or dislike/thumb down) or to comment (you can leave a comment on with the buble icon on the top.

StumbleUpon does not like people who simply submit all their content in the hope to get many people to have a look at them.

Tips to submit your content to StumbleUpon

StumbleUpon does not like people who use StumbleUpon just to promote their work. They want people who submit something they find interesting and who are looking for other interesting things on the internet. If you make mistakes submitting your work to StumbleUpon, you may end up with the depressing 0 views.


Here are some tips for you:

- use the tool to browse pages in topics that interest you, not just to submit your work. Use the rating tool, leave some comments (buble icon on the top bar), ...

- get followers. Follow people with the same interests as you (they are suggested to you by StumbleUpon) and try to get them to follow you.

- select the best of your work, just the few articles that have been successfull til now and make sure to make them attractive at a glance (people don't spend more than a few seconds before chossing or not to look at your submission) and DO NOT submit absolutely everything you have written/made so far (especially not at once. 1-2 submission a day is probably the maximum, some try not to submit more than 1 article every two days).

- don't submit a whole website/blog. There are some websites that go against this rule, but generally StumbleUpon will only share submissions that link to a spesific article/post/video/picture.

- don't get desperate. The tool IS frustrating as some content has been viewed by millions of people and yours will probably only be seen by 10 to 30 people. 0 views is even more depressing... If you followed these tips, you should however not have so many 0 views submissions and who knows, you may be the lucky one to get the next 5k-10k views content?

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Written by avissado, 2 years ago
thanks for the share and will be using it as reference in the future. I intend to be more active on SU in the future.
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Written by iona, 2 years ago
Don't use it but might now after reading your useful article. :)
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Written by xlorah, 2 years ago
I took a closer look last night and spend some time on it. You're right, but I think I'm going to start using it more.
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Written by anasshad, 2 years ago
I've been using stumbleupon for a long time now and I totally love. I just have one problem that stumbleupon traffic is not the one you can convert. It just comes and goes. No subscribers, no clicks. :(
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Written by xlorah, 2 years ago
Thanks for the great information on how to use Stumble Upon. I am heading there now to take a closer look at it.

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