This Article Was Written By Josh Dimino of The College at Brockport SUNY.
Contact Josh at

I have known my friend Drew since we were in the 7th grade together almost 10 years ago now. He is one of the most tech savvy people I have ever met – and for years he has been a big promoter and active user of the internet community tool ‘StumbleUpon.’

An internet community, or virtual community, is a social network of individuals who interact through specific media, potentially crossing geographical and political boundaries in order to pursue mutual interests or goals. In this particular instance, StumbleUpon is an Internet community that allows its users to discover and rate Web pages, photos, and videos. It is a personalized recommendation engine which uses peer and social-networking principles.

The StumbleUpon tool for your browser

Highlights of the functions and buttons of the Firefox version of the StumbleUpon toolbar

Pages are presented to the user when they press the “stumble” button on their browser toolbar add-on. StumbleUpon chooses which Web page to display based on the user’s ratings of previous pages, ratings by his/her friends, and by the ratings of users with similar interests. The user then has the option to either “thumbs-up” the page, “thumbs-down” the page, or to not enter any preference. This information is logged by the StumbleUpon engine to be used in future stumbles by either knowing to include similar content if rated thumbs-up or to avoid content with similar characteristics if rated thumbs-down.

Stumble Upon Prefrence Options

When setting-up StumbleUpon you are given over 500 possible interests to choose from which begins to form a framework of content you would find interesting.

StumbleUpon also allows their users to indicate their interests from a list of nearly 500 topics to produce relevant content for the user aside from the “thumbs-up” “thumbs-down” rating of content as it appears. There is also one-click blogging built in as well. Toolbar versions of StumbleUpon exist for Firefox, Mozilla Application Suite, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari, Opera, and a hand full of other 3rd party browsers.

StumbleUpon presents an easy way to “channel surf” the web and discover content you would in no other way be possibly exposed to. Today, StumbleUpon serves more than 9,854,813 members and it is still growing in popularity, especially for those in times of procrastination and in search of pointless, entertaining, random distraction.

Check out a web page version of StumbleUpon: Video by clicking that link to get a hands on feel for their approach and how it works. If you like it, head to the official StumbleUpon page and get the ad on for your browser!

This Article Was Written By Josh Dimino of The College at Brockport SUNY.
Contact Josh at