Lately I've really been getting in to exploring new Web tools! I talked about Twitter on a previous WFMW, and today I want to introduce you to my new favorite: StumbleUpon!
Basically, StumbleUpon is a toolbar you install that helps you find new websites. You enter in the things you're interested in, and then you press "Stumble" and it will take you to different websites which have been rated as good by those with similar interests as you. So if you're interested in Homeschooling, Humor, and Christian parenting sites, it's going to take you to something very different than those interested in Humor, Video Games, and Liberal Politics. Get it?
I have found the most incredible sites through StumbleUpon. Some of the best ones were humour or photo ones, like Austenbook (if Pride & Prejudice were on Facebook), some of the most amazing sand castles you'll ever see, Dave Barry classics: Things I Learned by Age 50, including the profoud "Never take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night". But I've also found neat ones, like amazing Bible helps, awesome history sites to help in homeschooling, Flashcard resources, and so many web tools that I just never knew were out there! I seem to spend about 10 minutes a day stumbling now, just looking for new sites! And the more you Stumble, the better quality sites the system sends you because it knows what you like.
That's because you give a "Thumbs Up" to each site you like. If you don't like a site, DON'T give a thumbs down unless it's really vulgar or disgusting (though I haven't been sent to any like that). Thumbs down really wrecks traffic for that site, and it's not proper etiquette. I didn't realize this at first, but it isn't really very nice. StumbleUpon takes your thumbs up ratings and then continually refines your preferences, because it knows what you like.
That's what all those little boxes at the bottom of many blog posts are for: The Share This or Bookmark That. When you hit them, you can "Stumble" the pages and rate them. People have to Stumble the pages in order for them to show up in StumbleUpon at all. If it's an awesome page, but no one has ever submitted it, StumbleUpon will never send anyone there.
So a good habit to get into is whenever you're reading a blog post you like, or you find a site you like, Stumble it! It helps the author of the page, and it helps StumbleUpon figure out what you like. For instance, you can Stumble any of my blog pages! If you see a post you like, click on the little time signature at the bottom of the post, so that the post opens in its own window. Then click the "Thumbs Up" button which will appear on your toolbar once you install StumbleUpon. If it's a new site that hasn't been Stumbled before, it will ask you to choose a category (like Parenting or Christian), and write a review. A review doesn't mean an essay. It means, "Great site on how to get along with your kids" or something like that.
And you're done! Get in the habit of doing that with the blogs you're on, and you'll build lots of nice goodwill, and then StumbleUpon will start sending you new blogs you haven't even heard about! It really is a lot of fun.
So here's what to do:
1. Go to http://www.stumbleupon.com/
2. Install the StumbleUpon toolbar.
3. Ask for me as a friend! (I'm SheilaGregoire in StumbleUpon)
4. Tell StumbleUpon what your key preferences are (it will take you to that page)
5. Start Stumbling! Hit Stumble and see what comes up.
And then, next time you drop by here, if you like a post, Hit the "Share This on Stumbleupon" button at the bottom, and rate it!
Thanks so much, and happy stumbling!
Thanks for stopping by today! Why not stay and look around! I've got a great marriage post up today, all about being in the mood!
Labels: blogging, StumbleUpon, twitter