StumbleUpon is now fourteen or fifteen years old, which is more like one hundred in Internet years. It’s clearly still a thriving site, even if many of the bloggers I know have forgotten about it. My young friend, Gloson Teh, periodically sends me links to sites he’s “stumbled” there – carefully chosen links he knows I’ll enjoy. Last time he did that, I realized it was time to revisit StumbleUpon. Okay, last time he did that as it turns out, was in 2014. I’m slow.
I began to wonder, though, why StumbleUpon (SU, for short) wasn’t included in JetPack. Apparently, StumbleUpon doesn’t work with https. Not a problem for this site! And apparently, it’s not as easy to just “add a new site” to JetPack as you might think it is – you have to know the right syntax for sharing a link. I found it, figured out how to set it up, and shared that tip in How to Add StumbleUpon Button to JetPack. But I was never quite satisfied with that, because I could never get the SU icon to match the size and horizontal alignment of the included buttons.
There’s a name for people like me, and the AR has little to do with Augmented Reality.
When I finally decided to try the Add-to-Any plug-in, I saw that SU was still included – and the logo icon looked just fine. Many years ago, most of these side “crawler” sharing bars used logos of different shapes and sizes, and that’s why I’d ditched them all. Apparently, I’m not the only blogger with OCD tendencies.
Of course I had to test the plug-in, and so I submitted some of my pages to StumbleUpon, with immediate results! Pageviews went through the roof. Unfortunately, so did my bounce rate. But with new visitors “stumbling” across the site, there’s a huge potential to gain new readers who were previously unfamiliar with my blog, or with me as an author. With a bounce rate that was hovering around 3%, I’m willing to take a bit of a chance, and hope that some of those new readers will stick around and explore additional pages.
StumbleUpon is a lot of fun for its users. It’s a little like Pandora for websites; hit the “Stumble” button to be taken to a random site that’s based on the interests you select when you signed up. As you click the little thumbs-up and thumbs-down icons on either side of the Stumble button, you teach SU what you like best – and it shows you more of that. Just remember to click around and explore your favorites, so you don’t send their bounce rate bouncing through the roof. They’ll appreciate that. Not because bounce rate matters – it’s just that a really low one implies you liked the site well enough to stick around and check out more of what they have to offer. Trust me – bloggers and webmasters love it when you do that!
- Sign up and/or log in on StumbleUpon. Customize your profile and tell it what interests you.
- Spend ten minutes “stumbling” sites. Bookmark or jot down the URLs of your favorites.
- Come back and tell me about some of your discoveries in the comments, below!
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