Why I gave your site the thumbs-down


I use StumbleUpon. A lot. I rate sites that I really like or really dislike, but most of the time if I’m not particularly taken with something I just hit “stumble” again and move on. I’ll often give the thumbs-up to sites that I quite like, but I have to really not want to see something again to give it the thumbs-down.

Having said that, I find I’m using thumbs-down more and more for one very simple reason: duplicate content.

Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I remember everything that I see, but after the third time of stumbling across a picture of a Black Widow spider having killed a snake it just starts to get a bit wearing. Even if something is entertaining or interesting the first time, I can only take so much of it and eventually it transitions to simply being annoying. Time to reach for the thumbs-down button methinks.

There is, of course, a downside to this. I doubt that StumbleUpon shows content in the order it was created, so whilst several people may have duplicated content it’s fairly random which poor soul gets thumbed-down. I guess you could say that’s just the way the cookie crumbles, but I still have a (tiny) twinge of guilt whenever I do it. …and then I remember that I’ll hopefully not see that image/movie/story any more and I get over it :) There’s also the fact that I’m not necessarily “downing” content I don’t like, but simply content I’ve seen too many times before. I’m not sure if that skews my StumbleUpon profile or not; perhaps someone with a knowledge of how it all works can enlighten me.

So what approach should you take? Do you penalise effectively random site authors because you’ve seen the same content an unreasonable number of times? Do you just put up with it in the knowledge that StumbleUpon will keep serving the same content up to you because it thinks you like it? Or do you have a different idea?

Tell us your view!

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  1. I am yet to effectively use Stumble though I have stumbled a couple of posts in the past. However, I found that one or two readers have stumbled my posts in the past and it had immediate (short-lived) effect on traffic the same day!

    I use digg more often than stumble.

    In either case I don’t penalize anybody. I usually bookmark what I feel is good :)


  2. Normally I’d do the same Ajith – I’m not really into penalising people for their content, it’s more that I just don’t want to see it again.

    You’re spot on about the traffic Stumble can bring. The boost can be huge, but it’s always short-lived. We had one post here that generated tens of thousands of hits through Stumble, but that didn’t last :(

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