A Stumbling We Shall Go
I have mentioned using StumbleUpon a few times in this Blog, so I guess I should write a bit about it. StumbleUpon is a web service that allows you to seek out websites of interest and people who have similar interests in websites to you. It uses a few techniques to learn how to do this.
- First is that they ask you what your interests are. There is a form/table where you can tick off the various subjects on a listing that interest you.
- Second is by surfing through people who have similar interests to you and and on your profile pages adding them as friends - or fans to let them know that you might be interested in the pages that interest them.
- Third is that you can fine-tune your interest listing as you go by adjusting it on your profile pages.
- Fourth is that when you go to a web page, you can give it a thumbs-up or thumbs-down as to whether or not that sort of web page interests you. You do that by clicking thumbs-up or thumbs-down on their tool bar.
"Tool Bar" - I guess I haven't mentioned the tool-bar yet. The StumbleUpon tool-bar is fairly integral although you can create a profile/account with StumbleUpon without installing their tool-bar. The tool-bar however does help out though. The StumbleUpon tool-bar is available for Firefox and Internet Explorer and I know that it works as well for Firefox on my MacBook as it does for Firefox on my WinXP PC. With Firefox I have a button on my regular toolbar which allows me to turn my StumbleUpon tool-bar on and off.
The Main things I want to point out are the "Stumble" button and the "I like it" thumbs-up and thumbs-down buttons.
The thumbs-up and thumbs-down I have already mentioned. when you hit a page you indicate whether it interests you or not and StumbleUpon learns more and more what you like. If no StumbleUpon has reviewed the site it will give you the opportunity to review the site yourself. The review will be posted for others to use in evaluating the site or in searches. The review will also be placed in your journal on your profile pages.
The "Stumble" button is one of the neat things - click on it and StumbleUpon will take you to a random site on the world wide web based on your likes-dislikes-interests. The longer you do it and indicate thumbs-up or down, the better attuned to your likes it will become.
It is also possible to stumble specific likes of yours or to stumble topics of any sort. Be aware that there is a list created that others might access. I think you can clear it though, but perhaps on a whim you might want to stumble through "whips and handcuffs" or something like that - you might not want your Grandmother or Boss finding it. I guess we all have to be aware that in life we make foot-prints and leave fingerprints as we travel the world.
You can discover lots more on your own. You can stumble through people on StumbleUpon as well and through people with common interests to find what pages they have reviewed. You can review a page even if someone else has as well, even if it is a negative review. There is also a "send to" button to share pages by; buttons for going directly to certain pages on your profile like your Friends list or Favourites; and other button. The Firefox toolbar is customizable and you can chose what buttons are on the toobar.
So go get StumbleUpon and explore. Find some new pages. It is great when you are bored or to spur creativity.