Speed Stumbling

StumbleUpon is turning out to be a really great source of traffic for this blog. In fact I get over 1200 referrals from StumbleUpon per month and I imagine it will grow. The wonderful thing about StumbleUpon is that they don’t discourage you from submitting your own site or promoting friends. Their algorithm is tailored to the individual so moderate self-promotion is not an issue.

Like all such services, you always want to submit something you like as quality. Some guidelines I adhere to when stumbling are:

  • Don’t submit news topics
  • Down vote really old sites that aren’t being renewed (some people are importing bookmarks into their stumbles)
  • Be selective of blogs

The StumbleUpon toolbar for Firefox has a really nice messaging system built into it that allows you to send your friends links as potential stumbles. If you have a message you see the red count and the next stumble you press will go to the recommended URL and be accompanied by a message.


This is a great tool for promotion. Now, one of the things I like to do is after voting is to add a couple more stumbles of my own.

If you’ve been following the advice out there you know that the best way to extend your influence is:

  1. Stumble lots: the most influential people have a long history of participation and a crazy number of Stumbles. Much like del.icio.us.
  2. Make friends: there’s a 200 maximum so be selective. It’s better to have influential friends but more importantly mutual friends.
  3. Join groups: You want to join as many groups/communities as your interests allow. This not only broadens the pool of stumbles available to but it also gives you an avenue to send your stumbles if the subject matter matches.

Now stumbling is really easy and only takes a couple clicks but what I like to do is configure it for even more speed. This allows me to do more stumbles in less time. All these preferences are available via the toolbar under Tools > Toolbar options.

The first setting is to set “stumble after rating”. This way, when you vote on a site you’ll automatically stumble to the next one.


The next is to set keyboard shortcuts for your stumbles.


This way I’ll just cmd + an arrow key and I’ll stumble my way through the web. Happy stumbling!

Categories: web