Software Profile: “Stumbling” through the Internet

StumbleUpon can be found as a sharing option within many websites.

Classroom antics have evolved over time. Now, instead of ink and paper, many students bring their laptops to class – strictly for note-taking purposes of course. Any wallflower sitting in the back of the classroom or the lecture hall can see handfuls of glowing screens flickering from screen to screen; multitasking group projects, finishing last minute assignments or fulfilling a few guilty pleasures. A newer website visited by the crowd is called StumbleUpon.

“I find myself remembering that I have an account and then spending like six hours ‘Stumbling’,” laughs Oak Park sophomore, Danielle Cook

Cook is not alone in this addiction, she’s surrounded by enablers. Just another online habit to add to the list, StumbleUpon becomes personalized to the user, grabbing their interest, never to let go.

Once a “Stumbler” starts an account with the site, they can choose from over 500 topics they are interested in to narrow the search engine’s results. If the user likes the page they are brought to, then they deliver positive feedback narrowing their future searches and those of other users with similar interests.

The innovative site describes its service as, “A discovery engine that recommends the best web and mobile content for each user. With more than 15 million users and 800 million personalized recommendations per month, StumbleUpon is the leading way to discover great, peer-sourced content on the Internet. More than 60,000 marketers have used StumbleUpon to promote their products and services.”

The browser can become a great marketing tool for lesser known brands and companies. Sites that would have been 1,000th in line to be clicked on Google’s results could be “Stumbled” across by a customer that has proven to fit their customer demographic. So what does it take to be “Stumbled”?

The site explains their program called Paid Discovery, in which, “Your URL becomes part of that stream. The user is eager to engage with new and exciting content, making your product’s discovery a welcome experience in the eyes of a Stumbler.”

Whether it’s a student looking for another online addiction or a marketer looking for a new and innovative way to grab customers, StumbleUpon is a force to be reckoned with.