Stumble Upon: How and Why to Use the Toolbar

by Julie on May 5, 2009

This is part 2 of guest blogger Derek Markham’s series about Stumble Upon. You can find Part 1 here and Part 3 here.

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The next step is to download the StumbleUpon Toolbar, which will sit in your browser window (I use Firefox) and enable you to Stumble on the fly. When you are logged in, you can either Stumble through pages that other users have ‘thumbed up’, or submit one that you like, right from the toolbar.

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On the toolbar, click on the Stumble! button to go to pages that others have stumbled. When you come to a webpage or site that you like, highlight any text that jumps out at you as being interesting or sums up the page, and click on the “thumbs up” button. The highlighted text becomes the ‘review’. If the page has already been discovered, that’s all you need to do. If nobody has discovered it yet, a pop-up window appears, where you can choose the topic and label it with tags, which are like additional topics (you can use several tags plus the topic). When people search for pages on Stumble, the tags and topics guide them, so pick them wisely.

You can also right-click on a picture in a page and chose to “Photoblog it”, which puts that picture as the review, and adds the image to your profile. I like to do that with cool photos or great visuals. The dimensions of the image are limited by Stumble, but most web-sized pictures can be Photoblogged. If you want to only Stumble specific topics, go to the Topics button and you’ll get a drop-down menu to choose from. If you pick Food, then click Stumble!, you’ll only go to pages tagged Food.

If you see Stumblers that consistently submit good stuff, you can subscribe to their Stumbles or add them as a friend (available on their profile page). If they accept the ‘friendship’, then you can send each other sites through the toolbar or via the share feature on your profile page. This feature is how many people network on Stumble, by sending links to cool pages to some or all of their community, who may then also bookmark it on other sites, like Delicious, or digg, or Reddit.

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Derek Markham is a freelance writer covering environmental topics, and can be found at Twilight Earth, Green Options, and Natural Papa. When not writing, he spends way too much time on digg, Twitter and StumbleUpon.

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