- Internet & the Web
How to Download the Chrome StumbleUpon Toolbar
If you're unfamiliar with the StumbleUpon discovery-oriented social network, think of it as a random way to access the Internet.
Most of the time, people who are on the Internet looking for something will use a search engine to pull results and wade through the information they are looking for. Doing keywords searches is a linear approach that is great for research and finding specific kinds of information. However, the downside of searching Google is that the Google search algorithm always attempts to find only the most popular and useful sites. In contrast, browsing the web with StumbleUpon throws a random element into the mix.
Stumbles aren't completely random though-- there are other factors that come into play. For example, StumbleUpon takes your personal taste into account. Where your next stumble will lead you depends mainly on what you have manually liked or disliked. In contrast, Google automatically tracks your search history and brings you search results based on your previous search activity.
When you set up a StumbleUpon account, you tell StumbleUpon what types of subjects you are interested in. Then, when you click the stumble button you are taken to a random page. If you like the page, you can click the like button and if not, you can give it a thumbs down. Over time, StumbleUpon will learn your likes and dislikes and direct you to pages that are similar to the ones that you have liked in the past. Of course, StumbleUpon will also avoid fetching you pages that are like that ones that you didn't like.
Essential Information About Google Chrome and Extensions
The StumbleUpon toolbar for Google Chrome is an extension. An extension is an add-on for a web browser that adds additional features that are not included in the default Google Chrome installation package.
As you can tell if you viewed the video, downloading and installing the StumbleUpon extension is actually fairly simple and straightforward. All you have to do is search for "StumbleUpon toolbar" in the "extensions" part of Google's Web Store, and click "Install." You can get to Google's Web Store by opening a new tab in Chrome, and clicking the Web Store button on the bottom right hand corner of the screen.
The StumbleUpon toolbar is free to download and use. It's not shareware, it's freeware. What that means, basically, is that there are no trial periods. Sometimes freeware programs include advertisements but you won't see any ads in this particular software product. The software is completely free and you will never see a popup begging you to purchase the full version, if you decide to download and use the StumbleUpon toolbar extension.
What Is So Great About the StumbleUpon Toolbar?
Basically, all the StumbleUpon toolbar extension does is place an icon for StumbleUpon in the top right corner of your browser. It's basically the same thing as setting up a bookmark for StumbleUpon.com, except the extension keeps you logged in all the time so that you do not have to keep entering your credentials every time you open the site. Using the StumbleUpon toolbar won't change your life, but it does save you the hassle of having to log in to StumbleUpon.
StumbleUpon As a Tool For Boosting Website Traffic
According to statcounter.com, StumbleUpon is on the decline but is still ranked #3 among all social media sites in the United States as of January 2013. At its prime in October 2011, StumbleUpon accounted for 52 percent of all social media traffic. Today that number has fallen to 10 percent.
StumbleUpon's declining popularity may convince you that investing time into StumbleUpon may not be worth the effort, but consider this-- YouTube traffic accounts for only about 2 percent of all social media traffic. Reddit accounts for about 6 percent. Twitter is often hyped as an increasingly popular social medial platform, but accounts for only 4.65 percent of all social media Internet traffic in the United States. StumbleUpon is still a fairly popular service. The 10 percent number doesn't look bad compared to StumbleUpon's competitors.
Another good thing about StumbleUpon is that it's very easy to sign up and immediately start getting traffic. Other sites like the increasingly popular Pinterest and perennial social media leader Facebook require more effort and time to develop.
If you use StumbleUpon to drive traffic to your site, though, you should know that there is a penalty for being overly self-promotional:
"StumbleUpon detects behavior like this to prevent the unauthorized promotion of a specific web page, product or service. Please note such use is grounds for account termination. The posting limit will remain in place until you use the StumbleBar more frequently to Like, Dislike, comment and add a wider variety of web pages."
Stay Active In the Community
On Hubpages, staying active in the community ensures that your hubscore stays high. StumbleUpon works in much the same way, except the StumbleUpon interface will not give you an actual score based on your standing in the community. You have to guess.
I've read many articles about how to drive traffic to your site via StumbleUpon, and all of the articles say that using the site often and participating in the community will help ensure that StumbleUpon will continue to send users to the sites that you add to StumbleUpon's database. Failure to participate and rate pages will result in less traffic being driven to your site.
A Tip For Bloggers: Hire Bangladeshi SMMs to Boost Your StumbleUpon Stats
If you like StumbleUpon and use it to drive traffic to your site but you do not have the time to develop a StumbleUpon presence, one thing you can do is pay someone else to manage your StumbleUpon account for you. Social Media Managers (SMMs) help bloggers, webmasters and business owners promote their sites by taking care of the social media duties for them. You can hire a social media manager from a developing nation for as little as 50 cents per hour on sites like oDesk.
50 cents an hour is well below the minimum wage in the United States, but in places like Bangladesh 50 cents can go a long way. The median monthly salary in Bangladesh is 30,000 Takas. That's only 380 dollars a month, or $4,560 a year. Young people from Bangladesh who know their way around social networks and can communicate in English are more than willing to promote your site for cents on the dollar.
Workers in Bangladesh slave away in hazardous sweatshops for corporations like Walmart, while earning less than 20 cents an hour. If more Bangladeshi workers were employed to do jobs on the Internet, less of them would work in sweatshops. I've personally have many positive experiences with Bangladeshi oDesk contractors and contractors from other impoverished countries and I can vouch for the fact that many of them are very good at what they do.
If you hire people from third world nations to boost your StumbleUpon reputation, you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you are helping to improve the lives of Bangladeshi workers. Nations whose governments have teamed up with corporations to exploit workers and force them to work for slave wages will eventually be put out of business as more and more people begin to earn their living via the web. If you want to help improve the lives of third world people while also driving traffic to your site, try oDesk.
The Difference Between StumbleUpon and Google's "I'm Feeling Lucky" Button
StumbleUpon is a far more entertaining way to randomly browse the web, compared to Google's "I'm feeling lucky" button. The function of StumbleUpon's "Stumble" button is essentially the same as "I'm feeling lucky" but Google's button directs you to a site at random, whereas StumbleUpon relies on its user community to rate and recommend sites. You're more likely to stumble across a site that many other stumblers have liked, compared to a site that many people were indifferent about or disliked.