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Have you ever wondered how all those awesome web pages you’re stumbling enter StumbleUpon? “D’uh!” – some of you die-hard Stumblers will say, “everyone knows pages in StumbleUpon are submitted by users.” However, emails from our support help desk have shown that some of the new users are not very familiar with the page submission aspect of our service. This blog post is for them, and for anyone else who submits web pages to StumbleUpon and cares about the quality of their stumbles.

Give and you shall receive

Ever get a stumble about some German techno band when you were stumbling in the “Food/Cooking” interest? We’ve been there. One of the keys to getting stumbles that are relevant to you is for those stumbles to be categorized right by their submitters. We work hard to identify mis-categorized sites and correct their category before they get stumbled to other users. We also want our users to be aware of how important it is to properly categorize a site. How you submit sites affects other users’ experience, and vice-versa. When every user in the system keeps this key factor in mind, the system as a whole becomes better and thus more rewarding to each of its contributors.

Why it’s important to categorize sites properly

When you submit a site, one of the things you’re asked to specify is an interest. There are 3 main reasons why categorizing a site properly is important:

  1. Proper Distribution: The interest determines to whom we’re going to recommend a page. If you correctly categorized a recipe as “Food/Cooking” and let’s say we have 20 million users subscribed to this interest (one day!), there’s potential to stumble it to all of them.
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  3. Keeps Your Favorites Organized: If you like different genres of music or different sports and you submit a lot of interesting articles about them, categorizing them properly will help you find them easily in your own tag cloud. Make sure you keep those Bicycling, Tennis, Yoga and Running pages correctly categorized, instead of just submitting them to the more generic interest of Sports.
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  5. Gets You Thumb Ups (And Not Thumb Downs!): By adding a page to the right category, the page gets the best potential ratings. Imagine if a page on cute animals is stumbled to someone who isn’t subscribed to Animals and is much more interested in tech and news articles. That page could easily be rated with a Thumbs Down, even though it may be a great stumble – just not the right one for that user.
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  7. Helps Get Traffic To Your Site: If you own a site or a blog and submit articles from it to StumbleUpon, make sure they’re properly categorized! If it’s not in the right interest, people who stumble it may thumb it down just because it’s not what they were expecting to see. You want to avoid that as much as possible.

How to report a site that was incorrectly categorized

So, what should you do in case you get a stumble that doesn’t seem to match the type of interests you’ve subscribed to? You can check its category by clicking on the Info button on your toolbar.

On Chrome-bar and Web-based bar, click on the Speech/Info bubble.

On Firefox and IE bars, click on the Info button.

On the lower right corner of the Info page we’ll ask you if the current topic doesn’t match. (e.g. “Is this site not about Outdoors?”) Click on it and suggest a better topic. Your report will go to our Stumble Quality team, which will review it and change the topic. You can read more about how to report a site here: http://www.stumbleupon.com/help/topics/

How to find out what interest a web page was categorized under, and how to report it if it was incorrect.

We hope this was helpful. Please help us spread the word by sharing this post with your StumbleUpon friends and your other social networks. And if you have any questions or suggestions for us, you know you can always write to us at: http://www.stumbleupon.com/feedback/.

/Monica profile picture