Reviewing Sites With Your StumbleUpon Toolbar

In my last, I explained how to download the StumbleUpon Toolbar and how you can the use the StumbleUpon Toolbar to web surf through areas of your interest.

Today I want to look at how you can add sites that you like to StumbleUpon. Like the majority of social media sites, StumbleUpon is based on a community principle. To be a successful web surfing tool, StumbleUpon relies on its members submitting quality blogs, websites, photos and videos.

If you have favourite sites that you visit regularly, you can choose to give the whole site the “Thumbs Up” or a particular page or post a “Thumbs Up”.

I will use my other blog to illustrate this. If I wanted to tell StumbleUpon that I thought the the whole website was great I would ensure that the url address in my browser look like this:

But if I wanted to “Thumb Up” a particular post, then I would click on the title of the post, so I would have the permalink for this post as the url address. It would look something like this:

Once you have the right address in your browser you click on the “Thumbs Up”. Now if you are the first person to submit this post or site, a box like that illustrated below will pop up.

You then complete the required information in the box, as I have done in this example.

If you click on the “Thumbs Up” and someone else has already submitted this site, StumbleUpon will record this as a favourite and you will see that the “Thumbs Up” icon on your StumbleUpon Toolbar will change from blue to green. If you would like to add a review as well, you can click on the speech bubble icon and you can then add your own review.

Remember you can add a variety of mediums using the StumbleUpon Toolbar – websites, blogs, photos and videos.

The quality of what you see when you websurf with StumbleUpon is dependent upon the StumbleUpon community, so make sure that you are adding quality material to StumbleUpon.

Downloading StumbleUpon Toolbar

Image: Wikipedia

StumbleUpon describes itself in the following way:
“StumbleUpon discovers web sites based on your interests. Whether it’s a web page, photo or video, our personalized recommendation engine learns what you like, and brings you more.”

To use StumbleUpon you need to download the StumbleUpon Toolbar and install it. During the installation process the StumbleUpon Toolbar will be embedded into your browser. The StumbleUpon Toolbar has different versions for Firefox, Mozilla Application Suite and Internet Explorer.

The simplest analogy for StumbleUpon would be to compare it to your TVs remote control. You can just flick through the available channels and stop and look at what interests you. The Stumble! button on the StumbleUpon Toolbar is just like the channel up button on your TV remote control. You click the Stumble! button and you can flick through websites, photos or videos depending on your settings.

Once you have downloaded the StumbleUpon Toolbar you can then set your preferences for what sort of media Stumble will show you. In the preferences section there are 100s of areas of interests that you can choose to see information on. For example I have currently 21 areas of interest that I have selected to see websites, photos or videos on, which I have copied below:

Activism Australia Babies Children’s Books Country music Crafts Family For Kids Homemaking Independent Film K-12 Education Liberal Politics Parenting Politics Psychology Rugby Sewing/Quilting Shakespeare Sociology Teen Parenting Women’s Issues

This provides me with quite of mix of interests that I can flick through. As you are flicking through these items you have the choice to give them the “Thumbs Up” by clicking that button on the StumbleUpon Toolbar or the “Thumbs Down”.

Clicking on the “Thumbs Up” will save that website to your favourites on StumbleUpon and tell StumbeUpon to show more like this to you. If you click the “Thumbs Down”, you tell StumbleUpon not to show you any more sites like this.

This is the very basics of StumbleUpon. In my next post on StumbleUpon I will explain how you can use the StumbleUpon Toolbar when you are checking out other sites and add them to StumbleUpon with your review.

What Social Media Is Right For You?

So far I have encouraged you to set up email address and then a feed reader to keep up to date with blogs, news etc. It is important not to just join all forms of social media though. The relevance of some services may be very low to you and of course there is also overload, where you have signed up to a number of services and are then bombarded by too much information.

Try asking yourself the following questions:

    - Do you have a hobby or interest that you would like the latest information on?
    - Do you want to use social media to promote your business or product?
    - How much time do you want to spend on social media?
    - Do you want services to help keep you organised?
    - Do you just want to have fun and make new contacts?

The first question is partly covered off by setting up a reader. There are other ways to come across new items in your field of interest, one which I am a big fan of is StumbleUpon and I will talk about how StumbleUpon works in my next post.