What is it?
StumbleUpon is a place where you can discover images, videos and websites according to your interests. Ones that you may not ever find using regular search. It's described as an adventure and works by filtering the results depending on what interests you have listed and which other pages you have liked or disliked. There are over 25 million members so it must be something worth investigating!
What I like/dislike?
I like the fact that the selection of sites StumbleUpon chooses to show are quite random but on the flip side it tempts you into one mood by showing amazing photos from around the world and then follows it with some dull blog on the newest version of MS Office and a Japanese website selling rechargeable batteries. However, it is quite easy to just hit that Stumble button and move on quickly but take care when setting up your interests!
The navigation is difficult. I don’t find it easy to move around the site and it feels like you are being forced to move on rather than looking back. You need to make sure you Like a page or add it to a list to be able to find it again. Forget and you’ve lost it.
My main gripe is that the advertising seems to take over. Pop up boxes appear everywhere and there’s no real control over the quality of the sites that they are pushing at you. It takes a least 5 hits to get something decent. I want to see interesting content, I don't want to be bombarded with advertising.
Is it good for business?
The aim of StumbleUpon is to promote and share interests. The majority of pages are for the sharing of photos, videos and blogs and there is a limit to how many personal pages you can add. If you get too carried away and reach that limit, you may be banned as a spammer.
Businesses can use it too but the advice from StumbleUpon regarding commercial use is to use the Paid Discovery service. It works like Pay Per Click and includes a reporting service to monitor traffic. Promoting commercial interests on the unpaid site will result in your account being permanently suspended.
Brands who use it well
There are plenty of bloggers and photographers using StumbleUpon well such as Uber Super. As we know, great images always attract attention.
But from my point of view as a user, the simple photos are the best, without the interference of that extra bit of advertising!