Whether you use it just for fun or to increase your blog-traffic, this article will be perfect for you!
There are available several very good articles about SU explaining the essentials and more, but I want to contribute with – my own pure experience – as a frequent stumbler with truly StumbleUpon advanced tips.
Then, I’ll cover the “how to use StumbleUpon-basics” briefly, and move on aiming to deeper SU secrets, (really not well-known) or unread in the StumbleUpon-FAQ in the advanced segments. Ready?
The first StumbleUpon tip: consider the same etiquette of the all Internet, have fun, not abuse the system independently of your interests and always remember avoiding these social media mistakes.
What is StumbleUpon?
StumbleUpon or SU is a great community of Internet users called “stumblers” who discover, share articles, information, news, photos and videos customized to their interests. Also, we can define SU as a social-related discovery engine based fundamentally in its toolbar installed in your machine (almost essential to use it) and available for several browsers (I recommend Firefox and Chrome)
On this StumbleUpon guide you’ll find two different points of view:
The more bookmaking-side and the community-related.
Let’s begin with the SU basics.
Certainly as every social network, you should fill your profile and interests. Managing your interests is important because your future stumbles will be based in those preferences.
Put your profile picture – avatar (I recommend to put the same like you’ve on Twitter, Facebook or other social sites) and choose a StumbleUpon theme that suits you best.
Take some time at those settings, remember that other stumblers will visit your profile and it’s better to maximize the space available. If you’ve a blog put the URL of the same and even a subscription page adding links to your other social profiles.
You can customize also the buttons available; these are what I’ve on my bar at Firefox.
The appearance of Chrome and Opera bar is lighter, I prefer the Firefox-version. Now, you can install a StumbleUpon bookmarklet in your preferred browser or you can stumble without bar, but it’s much better if the StumbleUpon toolbar bar is installed.
– Stumble: show your next-random page – but it depends heavily of your preferences.
– Shares Waiting: If those red numbers increase quickly and you get nervous seeing it all day – one StumbleUpon tip: hide the bar when you’re performing important tasks or when you’re writing. When you need to stumble a page, just enable again. You can use the default CTRL + F11 to switch (sometimes it doesn’t work this combination and I’ve chosen other)
SU can be very addictive and like other social networks, use it in bursts of time of 15-20 mins if not, you can drain all your productive time stumbling, you must manage your presence in the cyberspace wisely.
Those numbers will be affected with the noise other stumblers sending you, so you should control who you are following. See more at this point in the community chapter.
– Up and Down: Need I say more?
– Tags: They are paramount in the classifications of the pages. A big mistake, in order to save few seconds, is to avoid putting the correspondent tags. Why? Other people will find your stumbles, profile, even for SEO for the search engines, so put them and be descriptive when you’ve the chance. You’ll read more about tags soon in the SU discovery-process and reviews.
– Quick Direct Share: From here, you can share individually to other stumblers and see recent shares in a basic way (there is an advanced sharing inside StumbleUpon)
– Info: Very handy when you want to see who has liked or reviewed the page you’re visiting.
– Your favorites: All your liked gathered as favorites, organized as “grid” or “list”.
– Recent activity: Update here is the last stumbles of people you follow
– Stumblers: People you’re following
– Inbox: Center of internal messages. The private kitchen of SU 🙂
– Groups: There are lot of interesting group-discussions you can join, but aren’t very popular. I use from time to time the SU help or SU group.
– Tools: The word says all. You can change here topics, SU toolbar options, find new stumblers, help, etc.
StumbleUpon Discovery Process
If the page you just thumbed-up isn’t added to the StumbleUpon index, a discovery window will pop up.
You’ve two options:
* Quick Submit: this option is handy if you don’t want to lose time in adding a review. The SU system will do your work automatically classifying the page in a category. Why this can be useful? For example, let’s say you’ve discovered an article that you know is very important for your niche and very soon other people can stumble it, before you finish the manual process. You use the quick submit in a snap, then you’ll appear as the person – before others- who discovered that article. With enough time later, you can add a review or correct the category.
* Add a review, here you’d add:
If the page is safe, in other words, nothing adult-related.
Topic: Choose the topic you feel suits best to the article.
Tags: Fundamental for others finding the article, even for SEO. Here I use one of the software tool for bloggers: Memokeys with my popular tags already stored in memory – very practical.
Review: Also very important because your stumble will stand out of other stumblers when they are visiting that page.
Language: normally English by default, you can change it accordingly.
Which is the advantage in discovering a page, photo or video, before others? Your profile will appear as the person who discovered on all the StumbleUpon system and many of other stumblers will have curiosity in seeing who is that person, visiting your profile, subscribing to your stumbles and even sending an internal message.
I’ve “discovered” many online-friends in that way. Every time somebody visits your profile, you’ll see them in visitors – with red numbers. Curiosity is part of the human nature!
Let’s begin about Following / Followers – the situation is very similar like Twitter.
– Following: You can follow other stumblers that you find interesting to a maximum of 500 stumblers (here is the difference with Twitter, so choose them if you really like their content)
The content of the persons you follow will appear in your StumbleUpon stream, depending also if you’ve interests in common.
– Followers: Stumblers that are following you and they will see all your movements at SU, identical to Twitter – instead of tweets you’ll see thumb ups and discoveries.
There is not limit for stumblers who are following you.
In order both persons can share their material each other – both must have “accept shares to my toolbar” enabled.
Caution again: only accept sharing from people you trust. Un-check stumblers who are sending you overload of information or crap! Your time is gold; hence do not hesitate in doing it to minimize the red numbers on your toolbar from noisy people.
StumbleUpon trick: when you visit stumblers take a look their favorites and also the “Interests”. In that way, you’ll have an idea if worth-following that person and even if worth to enable or not, the sharing option.
You can share to your followers clicking the bottom “share” in each article of your favorites. As always, use your common sense- like to be overwhelmed of shares on your toolbar? Well, most of other stumblers either, therefore use the sharing-option with prudence and with material that worth-to-share.
Other SU tip: Like receiving emails without subject in your regular email address? No, well I don’t either! – then with SU-share is the same thing, type brief words about the material you’re sending! Internally these messages are the communication channels of StumbleUpon.
Now you can know- before hand – the shares sent and received. Just click Inbox -> View Shares and voila! Here you’ll see the shares waiting on your toolbar in red color, this time-saving and it allows clicking the ones you consider interesting, first and discard or overlook the rest.
Anyway in your toolbar all the “sharings” waiting don’t disappear (it’s only a preview) – I’d like the option to delete the others that I’m not interested, but for the moment, isn’t possible, and then you must click all the sequence to reach the desired page via the toolbar.
A common question done for bloggers and internet marketers. Can I stumble my own material? Yes…but not overdo it!. Use the same adage of Twitter. Like twitters that only tweet their links? No, well here it’s the same.
From time to time, stumble your article – but remember this is a great community and be social -not selfish and vote up, review material of the other stumblers, enjoy, and have fun!. This isn’t a contest about how many “ups” you have or followers – honest social networking is the key!
If you’re thinking about traffic yes, SU can give waves of them, sometimes is not the best bounce-rate, but it’s up to you about your blogging strategies. Again keep in mind that some people could be a future friend or subscriber and then more stumbles to you, then more traffic.
** Extra Stumble Upon Bonus, PhotoBlog It!
You’ll find stumblers with really beautiful stumbles, some of them masterpieces with superb photos and colors. You already know that we’re visuals and you can dress your thumb ups, discoveries and reviews with photos available in the article you just voted. Other people go a step further, adding images from external hosts that aren’t related to the article just for fun – not my case.
How can you add a photo of the article to SU?
First the how: this option is available for users with the toolbar installed. Right-click on the image you’d like to add and then click “StumbleUpon Photoblog It!”.
The image must be smaller than 715 x 715 pixels and a weight less than 250K.
Benefits: Stumblers love nice blogs (yes they call it blogs), full of pictures (instead of just plain links) and when other stumbler visit your profile she/he can be impressed and may be will be a future followers. This is a nice and funny method to become more popular.
…And Even More StumbleUpon Tips!
** SU in “Stealth Mode” and Why Use It
Want to know how to visit other stumblers in stealthy-mode? Even if you hide the toolbar, your cookies are saved in your browser and will reveal your identity. The better way is to copy the URL address of the stumbler and paste it in other browser that you aren’t using for SU. Simple and effective.
But, why? If you’re dealing with a potential spammer and you don’t want to warn them you’ve visited it, this is useful. Also if someone new to you is requesting something like a friendship, etc , but you like seeing who is that person, without noticing to her/him your visit, then you can use this simple method.
** Maximum 500 Shares and You’re Over!
What happen when you don’t use SU for a while? Well your “received” shares increase and increase… but there is a limit, Max 500 (having noisy people and you can reach them easily!).
The good news is that StumbleUpon stops counting the “shares” and disables the system after reaching the maximum.
The bad news is if you start using SU again, those 500 shares will be waiting for you and they must be clicked, repeatedly to reach a zero – there is no way to “empty” them at once.
And other additional SU tip: If you communicate with other stumblers – via shares – have in mind that they must be quite active on the SU community, because if they don’t use SU for long time, these messages will not reach them; again after they reach the 500 max, next shares (message included) are deleted.
If this is your case, it’s better sending messages via the internal SU system that will generate probably an email or they will be recorded in the SU inbox, with a red number.
StumbleUpon is an excellent community, visit other stumblers, review their profiles, vote, discover good stuff and you can be addicted ;-)…but also you can make good friends!
Over to You:
Using StumbleUpon or used before? If it’s yes, then which is the best characteristic about it?
If you aren’t using it, which is the motive? A StumbleUpon alternative?
I’d be delighted to know your thoughts in comments, of all your feelings about StumbleUpon!