StumbleUpon brings webpages back from the dead brought to you by META Q

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's avatar

Lindsay McComb

Writer and Content Specialist at Q Digital Studio

Lindsay McComb is a writer and content specialist at Q Digital Studio. She's a wordsmith with a wicked sense of style and a serious case of Wanderlust. Lindsay can be found tweeting at @themetaq and off-the-clock (and at all hours) at @lindsaymccomb.




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What others are saying


I´ve been using StumbleUpon from the day it was conceived, which by now must be the better part of 10 years.

Although some things have improved since those early versions, the service remains as stupid as ever in serving unwanted content. No where in my Preferences Profile have I indicated I want to see page after page with stupid jokes, stupid cats and such. Still, SU keeps serving them up in their hundreds.
Liking or Disliking a page doesn´t alter this behaviour at all. It didn´t i n the early versions, and it doesn´t now. The result is that I have all but stopped Liking or Disliking pages.
I´ve been searching for a long time for a similar, better service, but haven´t found any until now, unfortunately.


The resurrection can be extremely annoying. I constantly get pages referring to “news” or the latest this or that on pages that are 3 to 10 years old. Meh.


Same here, so many irrelevant old news pages that really should have been archived long ago.
One of my interests is science and technology, I tend to stay up to date on this subject by subscribing to a few S&T sites but every now and then SU brings my attention to something that I missed somehow. Most of the time it shows multiple versions of pages that I have already seen that have been copied directly from the sites I subscribe to ! Even if I click “Duplicate Content” I often get the same story from a different site a few clicks later !
I also selected Humour as one of my interests but the level of humour that SU serves up is terrible, it doesn’t seem to make any difference if I “Thumb Down” the page, the recommendations do not improve.


Ive been using stumble from the start, years and years. I enjoy searching for the topics I have chosen. It would be nice if stumble could improve the search. I often get things I dont like. Maybe 1% is things I really like, but the 1% I find makes it worthwhile. They are things I probably would not find any other way.

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