We here at StumbleUpon love to find the right word to describe something. When you combine the detailed exactness of engineering minds with the pie-eyed idealism of liberal-arts-majors-turned-businesspeople, you’re going to get some lively office discussions about the best way to describe, say, the difference in taste between drip and French press coffee, the definition of a San Francisco hipster, or exactly what it is about Lady Gaga that makes her rock.
It then should probably come as no surprise to hear that we had some impassioned discussion around whether we should continue to use the term “Subscribe” to explain adding another Stumbler’s Favorites to your Recent Activity page and factoring that Stumbler’s discoveries into the recommendations we make to you. In the end, we have decided to change this term to “Follow” and the term “Subscribers” to “Followers”. Here’s why:
We initially used “Subscribe” because, well…what’s the word we’re looking for here? Ah yes…following another Stumbler’s Favorites is like subscribing to a feed of pre-filtered content from that user. But we think “Follow” is even more descriptive of what’s actually going on behind the scenes. Following someone can influence the sites you see as you stumble, as our recommendation system considers the users you’re following when it suggests pages you may never have discovered on your own. Plus, we know you use several social networks for different purposes, and we don’t want to complicate your life with too many definitions to learn!
So, while “following” in StumbleUpon isn’t exactly the same experience as following on Twitter, Google Buzz, or Tumblr (we like to think it’s better, in that we listen carefully to your preferences and ratings every time you stumble and only show you stuff you’ll like – but hey, we’re obviously biased), the basic action is the same. The difference lies in what you get from following. On StumbleUpon, you follow others to discover great stuff – on topics that you want to know about and share with your friends - from people around the world who share many of your passions. In other words, while other social networks show you status updates that may not be relevant to you, StumbleUpon delivers personalized interest updates that you’ll actually want to explore.
Happy Following! And, by the way, check out this much-stumbled reverse dictionary that will help with your own word-finding needs!
- Katie Gray
Marketing Communications Manager