Tech Tips Tuesday: Stumbleupon 101 Signup

More than once you’re probably had an email from me saying, “I didn’t leave you a comment but I loved your post and stumbled it.”

Oftentimes a post or a site will grab my attention and I don’t have anything to add to the conversation, but still I’d like to share the discovery with a few (million) people.

I do this for a number of reasons:

  • I love finding new applications and news stories
  • I like helping other bloggers
  • I love finding new sites
  • I like helping bloggers who link to me
  • I get traffic (I’m not an altruist, so sue me)

Here’s how to set up your stumble upon account.

First go to Stumbleupon.com and you’ll see a screen like this.

stumble-upon-screenshot-to-start

The next thing you’ll do is enter your information. Stumble Upon is a safe site,as much as any site is. Use whatever email address it is that you’ve used with your other social media sites and sign up.
Like so. It’s really great if you can use the same username and picture all over the Internet, then you’ve sort of branded yourself.

stumble-upon-screenshot-2

The next thing you’ll want to do is to add the Stumbleupon Toolbar to your Firefox browser. If you aren’t using Firefox I’m afraid I can’t be too helpful. I’m sitting in a room simply peppered with desktops and laptops made by everyone from Apple to Dell to Gateway and I run Firefox on all of them, it’s the best way to surf the web.

So, you’ve added your StumbleUpon toolbar now and you’ve logged in you can do a few things.

First: Read the rules, you do not want to be kicked out of Stumbleupon. The Cliff Notes version is this, if you’re thinking that you can game the system, give up now.

Second: Find your friends on StumbleUpon, you can enter your email information and you’ll automatically subscribe to anyone in your contact list. I freely enter my Gmail password on Stumble Upon, but I also have an email address that I use only for social media (like Facebook, Stumble, Digg and Twitter) so there’s only the illusion that it’s terribly personal.

Third: Click the stumble icon on the furthest left. It looks like this Stumble! and a new site will pop up. If you like it click the thumbs up, () and the page will be shared with people who are interested in similar things. You can click the thumbs down, but I try to think of it like a bad blog or book review. Is it necessary? I always thumb down obvious splog sites or sites with spyware, but if you’re not stealing content, I probably will just keep stumbling.

Do you want to thumb your own site up? Uh, sorta. You do, but not until someone else does. You don’t want to submit your own site to Stumble Upon for a number of reasons, and that really does deserve it’s own post. Just, don’t, it’s icky.

Do you want to stumble your friends’ sites? Yes! Of course you do. That’s half the fun of stumbling. You take your friends and show them off to your other friends. Stumble their main sites and an individual post if you see one that’s particularly good. Make sure you don’t get into a weird loop of the same sites, it’s dull and it may make them think you’re gaming the system.

Earlier today I stumbled MSM sites and Rose’s Life, I hope she saw a spike in traffic.

When you’re searching for friends on stumbleupon be sure to add me, I’m http://www.stumbleupon.com/stumbler/jessicagottlieb/ I stumble a lot of blogs, tons of opensource and environmental issues. I also find that there’s a few writers I can follow nicely from their stumbles.

If you like this post go ahead and hit the thumbs up icon.
If enough of y’all enjoy this I’ll give you a part two to Stumbleupon next week.
I think that you’ll be pleasantly surprised if you just start connecting with a few friends on Stumbleupon.

My experience has been that it brings me anywhere from 200 to 6,000 hits a day and (with the exception of writing this post) it may only add 10 minutes to my day. It’s also made me a better blogger, I find writers much better than myself and I’m stimulated by what they do. I find software that’s free (yipee) and news sources I’d otherwise miss. I also find out who my readers are and what it is that they want to read.

Because really, I just want to write the words you want to read.
I kinda need you.

stumble-upon-screenshot-3

Link recap:

Stumbleupon main page
Download firefox here
Stumbleupon toolbar as a Firefox Addon
Connect with me on Stumbleupon
Gmail
Twitter
Facebook

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