Hearing how Stumblers play with our features is often the best feedback we receive on how to further improve the product. Today we wanted you to hear from Jane (Stumbler username: gladsdotter), who has used StumbleUpon for six years and has been beta testing the newly imagined StumbleUpon, released to everyone last week. She’s a super smart lady who has created 37 Lists already!
In the six years that I’ve been using StumbleUpon, I’ve seen a number of versions come and go, but I think that the new Beta SU is going to be my favorite. On my Home Page, Activity not only allows me to see what the Stumblers I am following are adding, Liking, and commenting on, it also shows me which Stumblers are liking sites I myself have added, and which Stumblers are discovering the best content in the Interests I am following. Recommended shows me a variety of sites in my Interests, and with the endless scroll I can find something that fits my mood, however much that might vary from one day to the next. And Trending gives me access to popular sites in Interests I’m not following, providing a glimpse of breaking news stories and hot topics from across the web.
But I think that my favorite feature is Lists. I have long used – and still use – tags to organize my Likes, but Lists offer a way to organize Likes across topics and across tags, into very specific or very broad thematic groupings. And each List offers me a way to visually review all of the sites I have grouped together. Lists can be as specific or as broad as I want. For example, I created a list I call Rivers, which includes photography, travel information, environmental issues, history, water sports, and more, all related in one way or another to rivers. Another one of my lists, titled My Favorite New Yorker Cartoons, consists only of – you guessed it – cartoons from The New Yorker. I have created Lists of sites I want to be able to access quickly when doing research, whether professional or personal, such as The Future of Book Publishing and Wildflower Identification. And I have created other lists that are just for fun, among them Creative Uses of Yarn and Typewriters.
Looking for sites to add to a list brings a new dimension to Stumbling. Whether I’m looking at Your Interests, Activity, Trending, or using the Explore an Interest box, I always have an eye out for sites to add to one of my Lists. One of my favorite ways to develop a List is to type a word in the search box on my Likes page. Since each search result has a + button on it, I can quickly add the search results to a List. Using this process to compile Lists has allowed me to revisit dozens of old Likes I’d completely forgotten about, and that I have much enjoyed seeing again.
Lists also offer new ways for interacting with other stumblers. My friends who are following my Lists have been sending me shares with messages saying, for example, “This looks like it would be a wonderful addition to your Flower Photography List.” People who hadn’t known I was interested in specific things now do, and they are able to send me shares that they know will be of particular interest to me.
While the Stumble DNA feature gives me a quick sense of another Stumbler’s interests, by looking at the Lists a stumbler has chosen to create, I can tell a good deal about that person’s general style and outlook on life, important information in deciding whether to follow someone. And when I come across a Stumbler with whom I share only one or two Interests, I have the option of following their lists in those subjects without following their Stumbles in general.
Lists also provide a way for me to find other Stumblers with whom I share specific interests. When I Stumble on a web site I like, I can see by looking at the Info page if that page is in any Lists. If it is, I can visit that List to look for other entries I might like. And if I like a large proportion of what’s in that List, I can take a closer look at the Stumbers’ other lists and Likes to consider following their Stumbles in general.
These are only a few of the ways that Lists allow me to interact with other Stumblers in ways that weren’t possible before. As you make your own Lists and explore the Lists created by others, you’ll find many more ways in which they add to the Stumbling experience.