How StumbleUpon Works

Taking Your First Stumble
You can tell if a topic is popular by the size and width of the font. The larger and bolder a topic is displayed, the more popular it is.
You can tell if a topic is popular by the size and width of the font. The larger and bolder a topic is displayed, the more popular it is.
HowStuffWorks 2008

What else can you do besides giving your thumbs-up (or thumbs-down) for a page? Well, once you've experienced your first stumble and rated some sites, you can revisit them and the reviews you provided by clicking on the Favorites tab of your SU home page. There you'll find entries under tab categories such as Pages Liked, Pages Discovered, Pages Blogged and Top Picks of other stumblers in subjects that interest you. You'll also be able to add a post to your blog through the Post to Blog link. There are two main courses of action you can take from here: You can either edit the tags that help organize and identify each entry or you can write reviews of the entries and add them to your blog.

In order to complete either of these actions, you can scroll over the entry and the option to edit it will suddenly appear. (If it's an existing post already in your blog, you'll have the option to delete the entry.) Also, you can click where the entry lists the number of other people's reviews. This will bring you to the entry's main review page, where you can review what other people think of that particular piece of Web content.

You can blog the Web content you enjoy either by adding a review to the entry or beginning an entirely new blog. Creating a blog can be basic or fairly detailed. Many great tips and discussions about blogging and other topics are available to you if you join an SU group, like the Helpful Stumblers group.

Now let's talk more about the two methods for labeling stumbles. The first (and newer) way is called tagging, and you'll see tagging mentioned often in the SU sphere. Tagging is when you add explanatory keywords, or tags, to an entry in order to describe it. Tags can be helpful by providing a greater variety of ways for entries to be found. You can view your tags by clicking where it says Find Pages You Like in the right-hand taskbar. (Hide the tags by clicking the bar a second time.)


The other (original) classification method uses topics. There can be only one topic assigned to each entry, and if you discover a new stumble, you'll be asked to choose a topic for it. SU asks that you choose wisely -- the decision can be very important to the future of your newfound stumble. If you categorize it poorly, people probably won't appreciate your stumble as much and won't rank it favorably. Stumblers might not give your stumble a positive review -- increasing the chance that less people will end up viewing your entry while stumbling.

StumbleUpon has a pool of more than 500 topics and a system that automatically labels Web content through the words on the page -- SU reports this system is effective 90 percent of the time. For the other 10 percent of the time when a topic is improperly selected, you can report the error by selecting Report Last Stumble in your toolbar drop-down menu. You can report a page for a variety of complaints (not just issues dealing with topics), so check out the options if you're receiving some bad stumbles.

When you report any problems you come across while stumbling, you help enhance the stumbling experience for everyone.
HowStuffWorks 2008

You might be wondering how these topics and tags affect you. Remember when you indentified your interests when you first signed up? That's how you chose the topics that helped SU send enjoyable pages your way. You can revisit this page and change your topics or add more by visiting the Preferences tab. This is also where you can add a picture and other details about yourself to personalize your profile page.

The process may sound complicated, but you'll get the hang of it. Let's move on and talk about the social aspects of this online social network.