Thursday, October 15, 2009

Day 61 - Are you using Stumble-Upon yet?

StumbleUpon is getting better. It wants to be a search engine. Kind of. It also wants to be more like Twitter and Facebook. Kind of. Better search and better social elements are the cornerstones of the new StumbleUpon web site (announced this week) slated to roll out next month.

There’s no doubt the site looks better. But beyond a cleaner layout, StumbleUpon's new features include:

  • search for sites within your own favorites
  • search your friend’s favorites
  • improved friend search capabilities
  • improved site navigation
  • improved navigation within user profiles

There are other changes, too. The old “What’s New” page has been replaced by a “Recent Activity” page; StumbleUpon borrows from Twitter lingo now and calls this a page of “nearly real-time updates.” Friend requests have been replaced by “subscriptions” — when you subscribe to a user, that person’s "stumbles" appear in your Recent Activity page. The old “Similarity Meter” is gone, and StumbleUpon Groups is diminished — now only available through a footer link.

The main thing that hasn’t changed is that new pages must still be added (stumbled) via the StumbleUpon toolbar. I only recently discovered StumbleUpon while studying social media marketing, and while I rarely visit the web site (my activity is strictly toolbar-based), I really I like it. It's a useful means of organizing masses of information. The more of us who participate in this way, the better the Internet becomes for everyone.

StumbleUpon says a new version of the toolbar is on the way soon, and it will also integrate many of the website’s new features.

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