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Monday, February 19, 2007

StumbleUpon Replaces Search With Browse

StumbleUpon wants to replace web and video search with browsing by integrating some of the best features of social networking. It's a Frankenstein amalgamation that takes ideas from Digg, TiVo, MySpace and just about every other social networking service you can imagine, but it can sure do a lot to increase your traffic.

A StumbleUpon user must have discovered a website that I publish yesterday because I've received more traffic in one day than I usually get in about two weeks. StumbleUpon is a plug-in that automatically loads websites recommended by its users and based on categories that you select. The company uses tagging to define content, and lets users give a thumbs up or down to rate websites.

I received a huge influx of traffic for free, but the company also will herd readers to you if you are willing to pay a nickel a visitor. The downfall is that if big media companies start spending beaucoup bucks with StumbleUpon, the quality of the sites that you receive will likely go down.

The company has nearly 1.9 million users, and also has a video site (Stumble.tv) that will feed content directly to Nintendo's Wii. The categorization and tagging works well, so you only get what you ask for. Like YouTube you can also share videos.

By automatically sending web content instead of asking users to search or navigate, StumbleUpon is a better fit for watching on a TV. No typing needed, you just hit enter, and the content just keeps coming.

I expect more web content providers looking to tap into the TV market (or even broaden their reach online) might take a page from their book, just as StumbleUpon has taken some of the best web 2.0 ideas around.

By John Gartner at 10:52 AM | Comments (0)

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