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.
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
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
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?
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.
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.
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.
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?