Shut Out by StumbleUpon
You may recall it was only a little more than a week ago that I wrote a blog post praising StumbleUpon, and giving tips on how it can be used. Well … my StumbleUpon experiment is coming to an abrupt end. I’ve not been banned, but apparently StumbleUpon has decided that the content I find should not be seen by anyone. Let me explain…
Previous to the last handful of days, when I discovered something and then submitted it to StumbleUpon with a review, it would receive anywhere from 50 to 200 “views” by StumbleUpon users. My network was growing on the site, and I was starting to stumble more and more content, including (of course) content that I didn’t write or own. Essentially, I was doing what I suggested in my previous blog post. In fact, I was sure that I wasn’t using the site improperly because I received this review of my previous StumbleUpon post from a community manager at the site:
A truthful and well-thought article from someone who understands StumbleUpon and how to properly use it.
Then … the bottom fell out. I discovered a client article last weekend, and it received only one view. I figured it was a fluke, because that’s happened before. Then, I discovered and reviewed a client news release from PRWeb. It received 12 views, which is well below average. I still wasn’t worried, though. The next three articles I discovered, stumbled, and reviewed received only one view each. This included the post I wrote here about the new Facebook Weekly Page Updates, which was well received elsewhere. Now I knew something was up.
These five stumbles I mentioned came from four different domains and covered four very different topics. So, it’s obvious that StumbleUpon isn’t including my articles in their list of sites that can be stumbled, regardless of what they are or where they come from. I posted a question about it on the StumbleUpon help forums, which received this answer:
Monica, Official Rep
StumbleUpon’s recommendation engine is built on complex algorithms that monitor user activity and connections to determine what users see while Stumbling. StumbleUpon does not disclose specifics about our recommendation engine, but you can see an overview of how it works here: http://www.stumbleupon.com/technology/.
StumbleUpon users may occasionally add their own content to StumbleUpon without running into system restrictions. Ultimately though, StumbleUpon’s Terms of Service prohibit use of user accounts to promote specific domains.
If you wish to promote your content on StumbleUpon (if most of your discoveries come from the same domain or a limited number of domains), you may do so with StumbleUpon Advertising: www.stumbleupon.com/ads. StumbleUpon Advertiser accounts allow you to actively and legitimately promote a site to a targeted audience within our community.
Hope this helped.
This is pretty much the answer I expected, because this is the answer they give anyone who questions why their service isn’t working for them. I understand StumbleUpon’s desire to keep their site from being spammed, but it appears they’re willing to shut out users who are submitting quality content from different domains that isn’t selling anything or even showing advertisements. Meanwhile, if you go to their site or use your StumbleUpon toolbar to stumble randomly, you’ll find a lot of useless junk. Yes, I was promoting my content and my client’s content. Imagine how quiet and boring other social media sites would be if they shut out people for doing that.
So … what now? I’ll probably stumble and review this post, and that will be it. If you have a one-off blog post that you want to submit there, you’ll likely receive some views, but woe onto you if you submit the same domain to StumbleUpon more than their undisclosed limit. They’re sticklers over there, I tell ya.