Thursday, July 4, 2013

Thirsty Thursday: StumbleUpon

This week's drink is a whole bunch of things crammed into one.  I know, I know - sounds like a taco or the internet, right?  Well it certainly isn't a taco...but it is the internet, just made a bit easier.  Allow me to introduce you to StumbleUpon! 
While the internet is a nifty gadget, I can't tell you how many times I go on and find that I am insanely bored.  I waste time checking Facebook and all kinds of other social media websites and find no creative inspiration from any of it.  If anything I leave feeling less creative than ever because I just feel bad about myself for wasting so much time.  Sometimes games curve my boredom but games get old after a while.  This should not be the way we experience the internet - and yet many of you probably have had the same experience I just described.  It sucks, right?
The internet is a hub of creativity!  It isn't just an endless list of funny cat pictures and videos of people doing stupid stuff.  Of course I find blogging to be a good use of my internet time but when I'm not blogging and I want to use the internet, I need to find ways to not make my mind slacken but keep it going and keep it fresh.  That is where StumbleUpon comes in!
StumbleUpon is an Add-On for your internet browser and I am almost positive it is compatible with every browser.  The button which stays "Stumble!" sits directly underneath the bookmarks toolbar (at least in Firefox this is the case but placement may vary depending on the browser and your personal settings).  When you install the Add-On, it asks you to look through a list of categories and select multiple choices to add to your interests.  StumbleUpon uses these settings to figure out what websites to take you to. 
Which brings me to the point of StumbleUpon.  Based on your listed interests, the Add-On will take you to a random page based on that list.  Interests can be basically anything.  Mine include things such as American Lit, Animation, Baseball, Camping, Desktop Publishing, Europe, Interior Design, Knitting, Nutrition, Online games, etc.  I have a total of 76 interests on the website's file.  That means that StumbleUpon will take me to a website that is completely random based on those 76 interests just by pressing the little "Stumble!" button below my bookmarks toolbar.
StumbleUpon learns from you as well.  When it takes you to a page you like, there is a "I like it!" button on the Stumble toolbar.  And if you don't like the page they took you to, you can give it a thumbs down.  If the site holds your interest but not enough for you to want to save it, you don't need to click anything.
To demonstrate why this is a tasty drink, I have clicked the "Stumble!" button a few times throughout writing this blog post and will now tell you what websites the Add-On took me to and why they fuel my creativity. - A page where people scribble on a page of a book to make poetry out of the words.  This appeals not only to my interest in artistic design and writing but poetry and crafts. - A comedy post that not only appeals to my interest in humor but is also appealing to my interest in education. - An awesome picture of a volcano to appeal to my interest in photography.
I won't go on.  Those are just some examples.  The only negative thing about StumbleUpon is that it can sometimes get repetitive but don't give up on it.  Just click "Stumble!" a few more times and it'll bring you somewhere new!
So there you have it!  That is the drink of the week.  Now I once again quote the most interesting man in the world - "Stay thirsty my friends."  See you next Thursday!

No comments:

Post a Comment