StumbleUpon brings webpages back from the dead

Lindsay McComb / Posted 11.8.2011

StumbleUpon brings webpages back from the dead


I’ve lost many hours of my life to StumbleUpon.

Though I wouldn’t really call them a loss. Some of the things I’ve found, literally stumbled upon, are incredible. French design blogs, Japanese fashion sites, cool new apps - all things that I probably wouldn't have found on the likes of Facebook and Twitter.

The gamble

StumbleUpon is akin to a virtual slot machine, a web page roulette, where the user gets the thrill of a random new page with every click. The payout for the user is the fun of finding something new, and the payout for a website is that new visitors find you at random (but often stay for awhile), providing new traffic, new fans and new friends.

Users can choose which categories to browse through and the StumbleUpon algorithm is very good at finding things you like. Trust me on this one. StumbleUpon gets better at understanding what you like (and don’t like) each time you click the “thumbs up” or “thumbs down.” The more you stumble, the more StumbleUpon finds things that you like. Facebook and Twitter are great, but when it comes to stuff I actually like, those two are a bit of a crapshoot. StumbleUpon is about finding things that I like, which I (and I'm sure many others) admit has a selfish appeal.

StumbleUpon isn’t just the Dr. Frankenstein of links, but it’s actually the driving force behind social media webpage referrals - driving more traffic referrals in general than any other social media site.

Half lives

What makes StumbleUpon different is the timeline. Links die at an alarming rate. What was trending on Twitter and being liked on Facebook yesterday will be, well, yesterday’s news.

The average link shared on Twitter has a half-life of 2.8 hours. Facebook: 3.2 hours. StumbleUpon has a whopping 400 hour half-life, meaning that link is shared a lot longer.

With StumbleUpon, an article someone wrote about Korean web design six months ago can be resurrected - brought back from the Internet graveyard - by stumblers. A link that was shared a few times a few months ago can take on a new life when discovered (and rediscovered) on StumbleUpon.

It’s alive!

StumbleUpon isn’t just the Dr. Frankenstein of links, but it’s actually the driving force behind social media webpage referrals - driving more traffic referrals in general than any other social media site. Yes, that's more traffic than Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, YouTube and LinkedIn — combined. Over 50 percent of all social media traffic in the U.S. is attributed to StumbleUpon. Pages are added to StumbleUpon at an average of 51 pages are added per minute. That’s 2.2 million web pages per month!

And while the hours I’ve spent staring at my computer screen are long gone, the websites that I found will still be there for others to find too, and the links will likely live on and on and perhaps even survive the inevitable zombie apocalypse.

Lindsay McComb

Lindsay McComb

Writer and Content Specialist at Q Digital Studio

Lindsay McComb is a writer and content specialist at Q Digital Studio. She whips content into shape with her insightful (and keyword rich) edits. She's plugged into the Zeitgeisty things happening on the Interwebs and on most forms of social media. She can be found tweeting on the clock at @themetaq and off-hours at @lindsaymccomb.

Lindsay is a wordsmith with a wicked sense of taste. She's got both AP style and an eye for design. She's also got a serious case of Wanderlust.

She has a BA in Technical Journalism and a BA in International Studies from Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado.