I’m such a Luddite. StumbleUpon has been around since 2001. I’ve only recently heard about someone in my social circle using it (my sister). So, then, a week later, I’m trying it. Today’s my first day and I have to say that StumbleUpon is fascinating.
It’s called a discovery engine (a form of search engine). The Pandora of the Internet. (Pandora is a site for listening to music based on kinds of music you like. They use algorithms to categorize songs by their genres, subgenres etc.) Just think of Pandora but replace songs with websites and stations with your interests and that’s StumbleUpon. I have a new appreciation for the Internet. “Stumbling” is like traveling through the ghetto of an eccentric country. You meet some strange characters that you would have never run into otherwise.
A downside to all of this Social Media is attribution. So much of what Internet companies do is free to the point where they have to constantly push their brand as part of their business strategy. (Here’s an article about how there are no more direct links from StumbleUpon) Who painted this picture I found and at least 11 others wanted to share with their friends? The neato thing is that I can surf the web Internationally with this StumbleUpon. The not-so-neat-o thing is that this Paris painting is by Kal Gajoum and I had to do some investigating to find that out. It’s hosted on a russian art site. It should be more obvious. The new rule with content generation is (should be) that the title of the work and who did it should be embedded on the image otherwise after getting passed around a few times, its origin is horribly obscured.
I think people are afraid of registering for new social media sites because it feels like a commitment. That’s how I thought. Social Media is a big world. I feel like a husk of an Interneteer if I can’t at least scope this stuff out. My advice for timid Interneteers: Have a standard username and profile pic for your exploring of social media. Try it out. It’s not supposed to be your one-stop-shop for Social Media. It’s a tool to help you navigate the expansive terrain of the Internet. And don’t be afraid to register, try it out for a few minutes, an hour, a week, etc. and leave and never come back. It’s just a new flavor of ice cream. Try it and then you know what you like/don’t like about that particular discovery engine.