StumbleUpon Surpasses Facebook For Social Media Traffic Generation

UPDATE: Oops! StumbleUpon did it again.

How can a site with 12 million users send more traffic than a site with 600 million users? When your site is specifically designed to do nothing but send traffic. StumbleUpon may be small compared to sites like Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace, but it sends the most social media traffic around the web according to the latest numbers by StatCounter.

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How Spam Killed Digg, Reddit, and StumbleUpon

Blame SpamThe statement could be pushed over to just about any true Web 2.0 site where voting and popularity determine the success of a piece of content. Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace – overrun by spam. Mixx, Propeller, Yahoobuzz – spam havens.

For social news powerhouses Digg, Reddit, and StumbleUpon to be so changed by the presence of gobs and gobs of spam hits a little harder. They are the sites where I started my journey in Web 2.0. They are the shiny beacons of user-controlled, traffic-generating goodness that made mainstream media look to the people for their opinions and discoveries.

They are, for all intents and purposes, shells of what they should be, and spam is to blame. Perhaps more importantly, how they handled spam over the years has caused them to close their networks in one way or another through a series of witchhuntesque spam countermeasures.

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Are You Really “Ghost Banned” on StumbleUpon?

I have had a lot of good comments about the article “How to not get Banned on Stumblupon“, and I appreciate all of them. One issue that has received a lot of attention is the “ghost banning”.

stumbleupon_collageI want to clear something up for those of you who are now afraid to thumb up your friends stuff, or who think they can no longer thumb or review their favorite sites. I am going to explain how the process works from my knowledge in hopes of putting your mind at ease.

First of all, when you go to check one of your recent discoveries and find that it says “discovered by someone” rather than yourself, it doesn’t necessarily mean you are ghost banned. You may be experiencing:

  • A glitch. They happen all the time on most sites and SU is no exception.
  • You are sandboxed, which I will explain below.

I got a lot of my information for the term “sandboxed” from a post Jeff Quipp made a couple of years ago.  Where ever you are buddy, thank you! I wasn’t sure how to explain it until I found his post. (more…)

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How to Not get Banned on StumbleUpon

StumbledFor me, StumbleUpon is a great place to make connections, see great pictures, and find articles or sites that I would otherwise not be exposed to. The whole idea of SU is to share great finds with your friends and for great content to get exposure.

This concept has evolved, to say the least. Now you may be exposed to sites that are not relevant to your preferences just because it has been thumbed up many times by your friends, and their friends, and so on. These sites have been “pushed” through the system, for the sake of traffic/views. Recently SU has been trying to combat this situation by adding the share feature, and even offering advertisement etc. In addition, they are banning “circles” of mutuals that seem to be sharing, thumbing, and reviewing the same sites.

If you happen to be in one of these “circles,” you run the risk of getting “ghost” banned or completely banned.

Ghost Banned on StumbleUpon: You can thumb up, thumb down, discover… pretty much anything a regular user can do. The only thing is, your efforts don’t count. You can tell if you’re “ghost banned” by discovering a page, opening up a different browser, and visiting the review page of the site you just discovered. If it says “Discovered by someone” and not you, you’re a ghost. No word yet on how to reverse this.

Here are some things to avoid:

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Why StumbleUpon’s Su.pr is the URL Shortener of Choice

Fans of bit.ly, DiggBar, ow.ly, or any of the gazillion URL shorteners out there will object. They will ask, “What makes su.pr so special?”

SuprStumbleUpon has done a great job at putting together the best features that are available on some shorteners and added a few things that that are less common or completely unique.  The only thing they haven’t done yet is properly publicize this amazing package of a URL shortener.

You probably know these things… (more…)

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With Great Social Media Power Comes Great Responsibility

Give(This story has been updated with a newer idea here: A Plan for Social Media Sites (and users) to Give Back)

Digg, StumbleUpon, Reddit, Slashdot, Newsvine, NowPublic, Yahoo! Buzz.  Between these seven sites, traffic to a particular website can easily exceed 100,000, potentially much higher.

With so much power to drive people to various websites across the Internet, why are none of them greatly involved with charity?  I’m not talking about donating – I’m sure that the companies or their executives donate.  I’m talking about making a difference.  I’m talking about using their power to drive traffic and applying it to charity websites.

The reason that they don’t is that they (other than Slashdot) are strictly driven by the actions, likes, and intentions of the users.  You could argue that there is a human hand or two manipulating the system from time to time, but that’s an entirely different post. (more…)

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Social Media Sites, The Master List

Social Media Sites

Over at Social News Watch, we’re trying to compile a complete list of social media sites.  There are so many out there — tons of brand new ones and a ton of old ones that might have been forgotten.

Whether for marketing or simple enjoyment, it’s good to have a complete list.  While submitting to thousands of sites might prove to be counter-productive, we plan on breaking down the list into several different versions so that everyone has a chance to find the ones they really like and want to use. (more…)

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Pwned: The StumbleUpon Digg Experiment Initial Results

First, a disclaimer about this experiment and the analysis.

In retrospect, this experiment was flawed.  The subject matter and style of delivery was very clearly geared in favor of one of the combatants.  When it was initially conceived, it was decided that the experiment would best be delivered through a post that announced itself.  By checking traffic statistics on a post titled: “The StumbleUpon Digg Experiment”, there would be equal billing, equal exposure, and most importantly, equal chances through the delivery methods to give both sides a chance.

We were wrong. (more…)

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