7 StumbleUpon Problems I Would Love To See Fixed

It is great that Stumbleupon are starting to add a few useful features to improve usability, so I thought I would compile a short list of some of the things that have really been bugging me over the last year. Whilst I have talked about StumbleUpon in the past, I have never written one of my “full reviews”.

1. Dead Stumbles

Tim earlier today wrote about how content can end up in “The Stumbleupon Graveyard” through various bugs. It is actually quite a major problem that can prevent exceptional content from gaining the exposure to the Stumbleupon community it might deserve.

It is something that can happen totally by accident even to people who know about it, and it has certainly happened to me even on some of my best articles.

As an example, my WP SEO Masterclass

It was actually first discovered by Daniel from Daily Blog Tips June 19,2007 and received quite a number of thumbs up, but very little traffic.

Stumbleupon Reviews

I actually spotted this back in June and whilst I didn’t give it a full review as it was my own content, I did at least give it some tags. It is not something I make a habit of, but some tags is better than none at all.
If you look carefully at that screenshot, you will see that I reviewed it 7 months previously, and Daniel discovered it just a few seconds before the screenshot was taken.

I happened to be chatting with Daniel on IM at the time and asked if he would mind returning to the old post and adding a review to it, so I could see what effect that would have on “repairing” the damage caused by not having a review, and maybe pulling the post out of what Tim calls the StumbleUpon Graveyard.

The results were dramatic

Recovering From a Dead Stumble

It is just a few hundred extra visitors to one post over a few days, but as it is about SEO – not a very popular general topic on Stumbleupon, it is a good result, especially as this was more like an aftershock which might not have benefited from all the previous voting activity.

2. Recent Visitors

Recent Visitors

In my profile I can see that there have been 65 visitors to my profile since I last looked at the What’s new page. If I click through to the page, I am only allowed to see the last 10, even though I am a pro member.

3. What’s New

Whilst we are there, lets take a look at what’s new, which displays posts that my friends have recently reviewed.

It only shows the last 10, and when you are following a full 199 people (you can’t have more), and a large number of them are highly active, you end up with the page being updated every few minutes, and rarely does it cover more than the last hour.
The big problem for me is that my friends are interested in all kinds of topics, in addition to the ones I am interested in. Why can’t I somehow scroll back through the last 100 or 200 reviews (there are more than that per day), and maybe even just filter it to the topics of most interest?

4. Messaging

No screen shot, as the messages are private, but when I look at my inbox, I really wish I could also see my replies on the same page.

As more than half of the messages are people requesting for me to follow them, I really wish StumbleUpon would make it clearer to members that someone following 199 people can’t add any more.
I wish I could, I have over 700 people following me on Stumbleupon, many who discover great content I would be interesting in, but I currently have to discover that content through other people.

5. Code Page / Character Set With Punctuation

Stumbleupon has a great feature – when you highlight some text and then hit the thumb up, the text you highlighted is used in the review, in addition to the title when you are the one submitting.

codepage punctuation character set

For some reason they don’t pick up the correct character mapping, so punctuation gets totally messed up even from blogs which mainly use UTF8.

This really is something a developer could probably fix in a few hours.

6. Line Spacing

This is the same review or in this case article excerpt as in the previous screen shot, only this time as it appears on my Stumbleupon blog, and not how it appears on the review page.
Line Spacing

You will notice there is a difference in the line spacing.

For some reason Stumbleupon has no problems with HTML paragraph tags on Stumbleupon blogs, and their new WYSIWYG HTML editor actually uses paragraphs for line formatting as well.

Unfortunately individual reviews for a page, or various “What’s hot” or “What’s new” pages strip out the paragraph tags making reviews often look like a mess.

It is possible to manually use line-break BR tags, but that is inconvenient, defeats the purpose of the WYSIWYG editor, and requires a knowledge of HTML.

7. Search

I know tag based search is “trendy” but currently that is all that is available from Stumbleupon – it kind of defeats the purpose of writing detailed reviews about a website which contain additional keywords that might help people find useful content.
It is possible to use a Google site search on a specific sub-domain, but then that can produce very noisy results due to additional keywords being used within profile pages.
If I search my own Stumbleupon blog for “SEO” using a Google site search, it will bring up almost every page, because I include SEO in my description. That doesn’t help me find reviews I have written about “SEO”.

Some kind of full text search is required, based upon only the content contained in reviews.

Have I missed any problems that really annoy you?

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  1. says

    My biggest request to StumbleUpon is stability, a Good example I was planning on doing a post on pimping your profile but in the space of the week StumbleUpon had changed how it handled images in profiles from none, to jpeg only, then PNG and then back to none it what appeared to be a few hours.

    I can see progress is important but I would like to see them rather then push new features fix the ones they have web2.0 seems to be a new term for buggy code.

    That said I still love and use StumbleUpon with all quirks!

  2. says

    Funny, I was just noticing that you’re almost always on my “Meet people like you” list on SU, Andy. Funnier still is that you were 1st on the list this afternoon, and Tim was 2nd (and he’s the first commenter on this post). I have a feeling it just can’t tell us 30-something white guys who read SEO articles apart ;)

    I have to admit that I find the SU taxonomy really unwieldy. I never understand what populates the default tags (which sometimes make no sense) and the fill-in-the-blank approach leaves me wondering what tags I should use. I end up putting “internet” on just about everything.

  3. says

    I simply find StumbleUpon frustrating to use and comprehend in general. I’d love to make use of it as a way to submit content to a social media site, help it to find an audience, and participate to some extent in that community (I’m not necessarily interested in stumbling upon new websites myself) but I’m not ashamed to say that I have trouble getting on board with how the thing works.

    Anyone else in this boat? I hear that people love it, that publishers love it, etc. but I’ve given it several chances and ending up simply walking away in frustration.

    For example, can you submit multiple articles from a single site, or do you submit one URL and then let the mystical forces of StumbleUpon take over? What do you once you’ve submitted a site or an article?

    Maybe I’m missing the magic Easy button that everyone else has managed to find ;-)

  4. Jani Mikkonen says

    I’d be glad if a single page would only appear once. Sometimes, even in one session, same page can appear twice…

  5. says

    I don’t really like StumbleUpon because their traffic is random and visitors never buy anything. Once I got over 20 000 people from StumbleUpon in 1 day and 0 sales. Even Google Adsense did not bring me much after this “success”.

  6. says

    Great info I never knew this stuff about stumbled upon. Really opened my eyes to some of the issues I never even thought about. I would love to see some better browser integration with stumbled upon too.

  7. says

    I have to agree with Eric. For some reason StumbleUpon and I just don’t click. If there’s an Easy button, could someone please point me to it? ;)

    I had a huge jump (for me) in traffic because someone stumbled one of my posts the other day, and no matter what I did, I couldn’t figure out who had stumbled it. It seems like that should be something I should be able to figure out, but as hard as I tried, I couldn’t even find the stupid article on StumbleUpon at all…


  8. ny seo says

    i believe i noticed the sad day they added nofollows to links on users profile pages.

    overall though its still one of my all time favorites

  9. says

    I like Stumble as much as I like Digg because of its simple procedure in submitting a site. My only concern is that more often than not, I get lost what to do next after I stumble a site. They should improve that as well.

  10. says

    I think StumbleUpon are missing out with #3. I’d love to catch everything my friends stumble – but it’s not practical because of the 10 entry limit.

    Personally, I’d love them to dynamically create a feed for my what’s new page so I could subscribe to it.

  11. says

    1. I would like to see a next page when you search for something

    2. I would like to see who thumbed beyond just the 35

    3. i would like to see my friends fans

    4. i would like to block users from even viewing my profile or my stumbles.

    5. i would like to be able to RSS just my friends discoveries

    6. I would like to be able to syndicate all my friends discoveries into 1 feed like digg

    7. i would like more stumbling options such as stumble by date, mutual friends only, fans of only and and fans of mine, stumble recent discoveries, end etc…

    8. i would like an easier way to stick my top posts

    9. i would like a mass send to button

    10. I would like a mass message sent to ever SU member that SEO does not equal SPAM. I am really tired of these trolls repeatedly SPAMMING our discoveries with “crappy spam from crappy spammer”.

  12. says

    Without doubt the two things I would like to see StumbleUpon improve on are

    1) The ability to search my own Stumbles by tagging and context. The old interface was actually easier to do this.
    2) Your point #3. This frustrates the Hell out of me.

    Hopefully the good people at SU are aware of this and doing something about it.

  13. says

    . . . when I look at my inbox, I really wish I could also see my replies on the same page.

    I feel you on this one. Several months ago I sent a friend a link to a great post about getting .edu and .gov backlinks and I lost it. Wouldn’t it be nice I could see what I sent her.

  14. says

    I think this is the first time I come across someone finding holes in StumbleUpon. I’m having a big issue with StumbleUpon, that I don’t know how to resolve and what causes it:
    whenever I Stumble a new page, it shows that “someone discovered” it, not me, not my nick. Does anyone know why is that?

    Also, Andy, there’s a Social Media Mega Project going on that accepts submissions about 19 different social media sites (hosted by 10 different bloggers, who host 2-3 of those networking sites), including StumbleUpon over at a1-fan-fun.
    It would be great if you could participate and submit this article.

    • says

      Normally when you are the first person to stumble a site, a window pops up for you to review it.

      If that doesn’t appear, but the page is showing it is thumbed up, click on the “reviews of this page” and add a review, though also best to think about what might be blocking the Stumbleupon window.

  15. ny seo says

    i love stumbeupon but the friend limit is retarded.

    and such a popular site should not have to resort to petty tricks to get more income.

    and if they were monetizing effectively, they would not have any feature where users have to pay money.

    they should be swimming in revenue from advertisers.

    and again, the use of nofollows to links in our profile is greedy, just like del.icio.us

    reminiscent of scrubs on the court trying any trick they can think of to get a basket. lol

    your better than that StumbleUpon ! step up yo game

  16. says

    Some things I would like added are:

    1) Ability to see EVERYONE who has stumbled your site.

    2) Able to see your friends’ fans or at least a feature where common fans wold be shown.

    3) Something like Twitter where you keep on getting alerted when your friends update their status/profile/favourite pages.

    4) Ability for everyone to actually BURY spammy stories.

  17. Mergen says

    #3 would be really good. Can’t believe it’s still not implemented. I tried doing it with yahoo pipes – pulling out friend IDs off your friends pages and making the feed links out of that, but I keep getting stuck. Any pipe wizards willing to give it a shot? Share it here if you do :)

  18. Mergen says

    Can’t believe #3 still hasn’t been implemented.

    I tried using yahoo pipes to pull out IDs from the friends page and make an rss feed that way, but I keep getting stuck. Any pipes wizards want to have a go? Please share here. :)

    • says

      No worries, I will delete one of them, I was just a little too busy.

      Not sure how well this will apeear in the comments, but I just created a badge of the results.

      • says

        The big negative of this version is how long it takes to load the pip each time. It would need to be cached, and probably show a name for who stumbled it.

  19. says

    Good article (I added it on Stumble ;-)

    Yes, I have some

    I'd like SU to be more open to non-English speaking people. There are big problems when you discover a site which the title contains diacritic signs (as the é, è, à, ë, ö, ô, ï , î, as we have in European languages as French by example)

    Why the SU menus are not translated, i have many French not able to speak a single English word. I'd like to invite them on SU.

    The stumble in a specific language is not well build.

    They removed the language spoken on the stumblers' profiles, so I can't know the language to use to message someone. It would be the minimum to have an automatic flag indicating from which country is the stumbler's IP.

    I'd like to select few of my tags and propose my guesses to stumble through some of them.
    I'd like to organize better my reviews for aesthetic purpose.

    I'd like to add javascript more easily in my review (widgets).

    I'd like to change the pages title to make it more explicit or beautiful, keeping the original in addition one of course.

    I noticed too a bug in the guesses counter, my conter indicate more visitors than the SU's one.

    I'd like a better stumbler repertory (to find with * for a part of the name by example) and the repertory shoud be more easy to find.

    MY STRONGEST DESIRE: I would really like to be able to stumble althrough my own stumble, both to check the quality of my blog and to keep SU as my only bookmark site and get rid of Del.ici.ous etc…

    And so many other ideas…

  20. says

    My wish list go on…

    And I'd like to be able to switch between 2 different versions of my blog, one in English, one in another language.

    I'd like to have a specific place to keep the pages I didn't read well by lack of time. I know it is not the main goal of SU, but it would be a great and useful addition.

    I'd like to avoid the SU graveyard too by adding a rate with my reviews, so my best rated sites would be stumbled specifically.

    I'd like the site to have a permalink, so many good articles and pictures move at another web adress after a while…

    Some sites are old but still very good and are not limited by the time, so it would be good to not be limited to the most recent sites. To add a completely time-random stumble would be interesting.

    A flag or a map counter should be added as a SU function.

    To add pictures to the blog is easier than before but still bugged sometimes. (especially big pictures in Firefox) To place these pictures at the place I want is not easy.

    I would like to be able to do a true blog with SU based on my reviews and the webstuff I like.

    I'd like to be able to do a search with 2 keywords (ex: europ AND politics)

    The correction of the wrong topics doesn't work properly, and it seems impossible to remove some tags (by ex French Google is tagged with “sexe”)

  21. says

    That's irritate me right now is that the maximum amount of tags is only 5, I'd like to describe very acurately the page I send to SU and it will avoid the “graveyard” by allowing easily other users to find this page if they are make a search with one of the related topics. (I hope I'm clear because my English is not so good)

    I noticed that some people complain about the difficulty to clear SU browser history.

    I'd like to manage my SU visited page history.

    Why there is a tag for “photos” and one for “photography”?
    Every pictures should be automatically detected and tagged “images” for example.
    I like to stumble other users ' photograph or painting.

    When a site is available in many languages (in its menu by ex), it should be specific function to send the page to all the language in one move.

    I encourage every stumbler visiting this page to add a review because I hope this wish and report bugs list will have a large broadcast. Why they didn't yet?