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Stumbleupon in Five Easy Steps

Michelle from scribbit
is back with us today. In fact, she’ll be with us most of this week! She has generously agreed to let us re-print several of her articles here on Blogging Basics 101. We know you’ll appreciate her input and advice. BTW, if you aren’t reading her on a daily basis, you should be. Check her out.

StumbleuponThis one’s not just for bloggers . . .



If you pay much attention to the blogging world you may have noticed that

the most influential and popular blogs are tech blogs–blogs about
blogging, computers and the internet. Why is this? The percentage of
the population involved in the tech industry isn’t representative of
the percentage of tech blogs in production, so why do they have such a
chunk of the cyber world’s attention?

It’s from two things:
First, those who are interested in tech subjects are the ones building
the internet and the blogosphere but second, readers who are interested
in tech blogs are also savvy to social bookmarking: tools to mark and
rate websites that have the power to drive certain blogs into the
blogosphere’s attention.

I’m frustrated that with as many smart,
capable bloggers as I’ve come across few are aware of these social
bookmarks and the power they represent for driving non-tech blogs into
the public notice.

Many bloggers are concerned with little
outside their niche and are therefore generally languishing in
anonymity. I’m hoping to help change this by explaining and encouraging the use of one social bookmark I’ve fallen in love with: Stumbleupon.

you’re a blogger or a reader, Stumbleupon is a web-discovery tool that
operates much like your remote control on your television: with each
click you can forward to the next randomly-selected website offered for
your approval. Well, it’s not entirely random, websites are generated
based on various criteria you select when you join the world of

Here’s how it works:

1. Go to Stumbleupon and click the Sign up Here button to register. It is compatible with both Firefox and Interenet Explorer.

Download the Stumbleupon toolbar. It takes just a moment and once you
download it you’ll have to close and then reopen your web browser to
see the toolbar appear at the top of your screen.

3. Create a
profile page. They’ll walk you through the details and they’ll ask for
information such as where you are, if you want a picture included,
things like that. If you have a blog you can register the URL with

4. Customize your stumbles. Once you’ve done steps 1-3 you’ll be able to visit a page that looks like this
where you can select which topics interest you. For example, I’ve
selected things such as gardening, family, humor, home, hobbies and

5. Click that new Stumble! button you now see at the
top of your page and see where it takes you. You’ll immediately be
whisked away to a site chosen for your perusal based on the topics
you’ve selected. If you especially like it, click the “thumbs up” icon.
If you hate it, find it objectionable or are just feeling cantankerous
click the “thumbs down.” What could be more democratic?

It is
the process of each user rating the sites he or she visits that can
drive certain posts or sites to the top of the charts. If you are a
lucky blogger such as Mom on A Wire,
you may have gone to your stat counter one day and discovered piles of
mysterious visitors who arrived at your blog via the Stumbleupon train.
Once someone Stumblesupon your site and gives you the “thumbs up,” it
places your site higher in the rankings and more likely to be Stumbled
on by the next viewer, and the process grows from there until–if
you’re my husband–you suddenly have 4000 visitors in a single day
(lucky dog).

So go register, get that toolbar, pick the topics you want to read and start Stumbling.