How to get started with Stumbleupon

As an internet community and Web browser plug in StumbleUpon allows its users to discover, rate and comment upon Web pages, photos, and videos and other forms of internet content. These ratings not only help other, like minded people discover the pages you’ve found, it also helps the StumbleUpon system suggest other web content which may be of interest to you. This kind of intelligent interaction , combined with an online social community, is what is likely to make sites like StumbleUpon surpass the usage and usefulness of traditional search engines which sit as the cornerstone of Web 1.0.

As an added feature, StumbleUpon allows you to include blog entries with your lists of Favorite web sites. This allows people browsing your profile to learn even more about you and your interests.

StumbleUpon is not only a great way to find and share information on your favorite topics, it also provides a great usage experience that resembles "channel-surfing" where you have the ability to add weight to channels you like which makes future "channels" even more closely matched to your interests.

A toolbar is also provided which works with the most popular browsers and makes using StumbleUpon a very simple process.

As an indication of the value of Web 2.0 properties like StumbleUpon, eBay acquired StumbleUpon in May of 2007 for $75,000,000(75 million) USD.

Getting started

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Visit StumbleUpon.com and click Join StumbleUpon.

Creating your account

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On the next page, you are only asked for a little bit of information in order to get started.

Your email address: That’s, uh, your email address. They’re going to send you a password (which you can change later) so make sure it’s YOUR email address.

Choose a username: Just like with other sites, this is your opportunity to choose a username that works with this account. Your full name or something catchy is good. Something "spammy" like "makemillionstoday" is seen by the world as spam and you’ll find it hard to get noticed.

What’s your birthday: Don’t worry. They won’t tell the world how old you are, unless you set your preferences to do so.

Gender: Like most people, these guys need to look up Gender in the dictionary. They mean the word "sex" which refers to one being Male or Female in this context.

Enter the words below

Enter the words below: They require this to prove you’re human. If you can, you can see better than me. Go for it. Unfortunately, most of these sites are very unfriendly to the vision impaired.

I’ll stop complaining now. 🙂

Download the StumbleUpon Toolbar

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Next, you have the opportunity to download the StumbleUpon toolbar.

Even though it is optional, and maybe you think you have enough toolbars already, you really should use StumbleUpon’s toolbar if you’re going to make StumbleUpon part of your social media strategy.

To download the StumbleUpon toolbar, click the Download toolbar button and follow the instructions on the screen. Most likely your web browser window will close during the installation process so if you’re reading this guide on the web, you may want to bookmark this page right now.

Start Stumbling

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If all went well, you should have a new toolbar in your web browser. See the Stumble icon in the top left? It should all look something like what you see in this picture.

Logging in

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After you create your account, you may go directly to your account page. Sometimes not.

In the top right corner of your page, you will either see "Hello <your username>" or you will see "Have an account? Login"

If you aren’t logged in, click the Login link and enter your username and password.

If you don’t know your password yet, check your email because StumbleUpon sends you one.

Changing your password

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After you receive your password in email, you’ll probably think "this is an awful password" and you’ll want to change it right away.

Well, you’ll be glad you installed the toolbar because as far as I know, the only way to change your password is through the toolbar.

At the far right of the toolbar, is Tools. Click this and you’ll see a pop up menu. Choose Change Password to change your password.

You will need to know your old password to choose a new one.

Your personal page in StumbleUpon

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In your StumbleUpon toolbar, click Favorites and you will be shown your personal page. As you rate web pages with the "I like It!" button in the toolbar, those pages will be added to the list here.

The page you’re seeing here is davesaunders.stumbleupon.com feel free to visit my page and add me as a friend. You want friends in your friend list anyway. I’ll add you as well.

Also, noticed the Preferences link. Click that to set your account preferences.

Configuring your personal information

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There are three sections under Preferences. The first is Personal information.

Some of this information may be filled in already. You should also set your profile picture. In the social media world, profiles that don’t have pictures tend to get ignored. Let people know you’ve arrived by setting your profile picture.

Scroll down as this page is long. Check the rest of the settings and don’t forget to click Save my preferences or your changes will be thrown out.

Configuring your interests

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Click the My interests link.

Along the left, click the categories of interests and then in the main section you will see individual interest topics. This helps StumbleUpon show you pages that are of interest to you and it also tells other people more about you when they visit your profile.

When you’re down, scroll to the bottom of the page and click Save My Interests before you continue.

Configure your public profile

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Third, click Public Profile to set more detailed information about you.

Introduce yourself to everyone: this is your bio. Tell a little story about yourself that fits your brand.

Your website: This should be a website that connects people to you. It’s not a good idea to send people to your company website, that just gives them a pitch. This is social marketing so you need to let people connect to YOU first.

Scroll down and keep filling in your profile.

Click Save Public Profile when you’re all done.

To see what your profile looks like to the rest of the world, click View page as others see it.

Visit a page and stumble it

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Visit a web page. If you’re reading this guide on my blog, you’re at a web page! In your toolbar, you have a thumbs up and a thumbs down.

Click the Thumbs Up button and tell the world that you like this guide.

If you’re the first one to Stumble a site, you will see a window that allows you to write a comment about the page. This is where the social media comes in because other people can read your comment and learn more about you as well.

Title: If the title of the web page doesn’t look right to you, change it to something that you feel is more descriptive. Because you’re the first one to Stumble the page, you get to choose.

Review: Enter your personal comments about the page. What did you learn from it. Why did you like it? Who else is it useful for? Stuff like that.

Tags: Tags help StumbleUpon categorize the page in order to help others find it as well. Tags are keywords that help describe the page and they are separated by commas.

Adult: Click No, if this is a site that is appropriate for most audiences.

Languages: If the page is in a language other than English, help StumbleUpon file it correctly by selecting the language used on the page from the pop up menu.

Lastly, click Submit this Site >> to complete the process.

While you’re at www.davesaunders.net/blog, reading this how to guide, please Stumble it and write a comment about why you like this page.

 

Stumbling a Stumbled Page

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Stumbling a Stumbled Page simply means that someone already discovered the page and it has been added to StumbleUpon’s database.

You’ll no this because when you click I Like It! you won’t get a window as described in the previous step.

When this does happen, you should still write a review of the page. Again, remember this is about social networking.

In your toolbar, click the little icon that looks like a balloon from the cartoons.

Adding your review to an already Stumbled page

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After you click the comment icon in the toolbar, you’ll see a list of the people who also liked this page. In the above example, there’s just one other person. Sometimes there will be dozens.

Click Edit Tags or Review and you’ll be given a Review box and a Tags area. Fill them in and click Save Changes when you’re done.

Adding Friends

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As you explore StumbleUpon, you will find other people who you may want to add to your network. In the social media world "friends" are part of your network and just like the real world, not all "friends" are people you’re going to take to dinner. You can, and should, seek to grow a huge network in your social media world.

The person in this profile is from Kiev. From the sites she’s marked as favorites, she appears to like web design and art.

In the bottom right corner I can see some of the interests she set in her profile that match the ones I set in mine.

To add her as a friend, I can click Add her as a friend. It’s also good etiquette to click Send a message and send a note introducing myself. The note doesn’t have to be long. It could be "I see you are also interested in health and science and I’m looking to network with people that have the same interests as me."

You can also click Visit another stumbler and StumbleUpon will take you to another profile that has matches with the interests you selected in your preferences.

These are the basics of StumbleUpon. Explore and if you discover a cool trick, please leave a comment below.

Visit www.davesaunders.net/blog for more how to’s and information and how you can stand out and get noticed.

3 Comments

  1. Doug Firebaugh on July 30, 2008 at 11:23 pm

    Rocking Hot Dave! WOW! doug

  2. Diane Achatz on July 31, 2008 at 8:58 pm

    Dave, this is awesome! Thank you!!!

  3. Varun Sharda on June 11, 2011 at 6:29 pm

    dis was really helpful to me….thnx dave!!
    PEACE!!

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