StumbleUpon revokes Top Stumbler status for submitting pages from Digg and Reddit

Well, the StumbleUpon community has read my post on how to become a top user and started discussing my tactics.

Also, I’ve been taken off the Top Stumbler page. I haven’t received a notice but I’m inclined to believe the events are connected. It will be interesting to see how my StumbleUpon traffic is affected.

If it goes down or disappears so be it. A site shouldn’t be dependent on social media anyways. My aim with the original post was to help others drive a bit of traffic to their sites and share my insights about social media.

I knew this was a risk before I posted, but decided to do it anyway. I don’t see how I could have violated any rules, although I have used the system and the nature of social media to my advantage.

It’s funny how people will punish you for pointing out how a system works. I’m sure there are many others using the same technique, but when I wrote about it I somehow undermined the community despite contributing many high quality pages.

I’m confident nearly every page I submitted would have made it into StumbleUpon sooner or later. I just found a good way to get there first. Maybe they’re worried about people trying buy Stumbles, which is understandable.

Gaming will always be a factor is social media. I’m no idealist. On the web, traffic is king. StumbleUpon sells traffic by slipping ads in with regular sites. Everyone knows about this and is fine with it. But when someone else uses the system to their advantage it is considered exploitation.

StumbleUpon makes a point of not disclosing many user numbers. They actually just removed the Audience figure. This has it’s pros and cons, but certainly leads to a lack of transparency. I’m curious to see how this all pans out, especially with the recent buyout.

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  • http://zenhabits.net Leo

    Well, that sucks. If you’re a valuable and contributing member of the SU community, it shouldn’t matter what you write. You weren’t using it in any illegal way — as you said, you stumbled sites you thought were good — that’s the intended purpose of SU I believe. So by writing about it, what are you doing wrong? If they’re really sanctioning you for what you wrote, and not your actions (and we don’t know for sure if that’s what they’re doing), this smacks of trying to suppress free speech, which isn’t illegal when a company does it but is still far from ideal.

  • S

    “I’m inclined to believe the events are connected.”

    You know, they probably aren’t. I was on the Top Stumblers page for several months, then I wasn’t, then I was, etc. I didn’t care either way, since I’m interested in quality rather than quantity.

    With a few notable exceptions, stumblers appear on and disappear from the Top Stumblers page frequently. Don’t be so quick to assume victim status. And mind your apostrophes, please!

  • SU-er

    What you don’t seem to understand is that SU is about quality not quantity…go to MySpace or Digg if that’s what you’re looking for…no need for ‘attention-whores’ on SU, there’s plenty of other places for that.

  • http://www.pickthebrain.com John Wesley

    S,

    You may well be right.

  • http://www.canimakebigmoneyonline.com George

    Way to cause some controversy! Maybe everyone that reads this post can Digg it, since stumbleupon isn’t happy with you anymore…

  • http://www.canimakebigmoneyonline.com George

    I just dugg your post. You can find it here:

    http://digg.com/tech_news/StumbleUpon_revokes_Top_Stumbler_status_for_submitting_pages_from_Digg_and

    It is certainly newsworthy.

    All the best,
    George

  • http://www.pickthebrain.com John Wesley

    Haha, honestly I don’t think they’ve even noticed me and if they have they’re ignoring me, which is probably smart. Compared to the big buyout news I’m just a fly.

    If people want to Digg it thats well and good with me.

  • http://www.AskDanAndJennifer.com/ Dan and Jennifer

    Hey John,

    That really sucks, sorry to hear it. :-(

    Listen to your gut, if that’s what you think caused it, then you’re probably right.

    Then again, they did just get bought out by eBay a couple days ago, so some things will be changing.

    Oh well, hang on tight. Thanks for sharing all that cool stuff though.

    Have a great day!
    Dan

  • http://www.pickthebrain.com John Wesley

    SU is still sending me visitors, so it may just be coincidence.

  • http://www.marksdailyapple.com Sara

    Interesting. I am inclined to think they didn’t do it intentionally; at least I hope not! I installed and started using Stumbleupon thanks to you, so I would think SU would see the obvious potential benefits of what you did. Essentially, by giving information about your personal experience, you gave them a very valuable social media “two thumbs up” review. They wouldn’t be too bright to shun you, but sometimes this happens.

  • http://www.pickthebrain.com John Wesley

    Yeah, the more I think about it, I don’t think it was intentional. It must just be some quirk in what makes a Top Stumbler. I’m still receiving plenty of visitors from SU so I definitely haven’t been banned or anything.

    To be honest, I decided to be a little sensational, thinking a bit of controversy might bring some visitors to the blog.

  • http://www.rubyfleebie.com Frank

    I”m also 100% sure it is a pure coincidence.

  • http://sankt-georg.info/ Markus Merz

    The mechanics of SU are simple and I don’t believe that you are a hand filtered victim. That said, yes, I think that SU is really worth to send reviews and stories there. The reason is curiosity and common passive behavior: People like to stumble and people like recommendations.

  • http://allsux.com allsux

    I’ve been banned from both Helium.com and Digg.com for pointing out how their systems work – I feel your pain :/

  • http://janopus.stumbleupon.com Jan

    Duh … I thought content was king on the internet. Did something change while I wasn’t looking? Oh … I forgot; its all about commerce now. -jano

  • http://www.vaspersthegrate.blogspot.com vaspers the grate

    Traffic is not king. Who wants 50 million idiots visiting your blog? I would rather have 5 readers who are smart activists and trying to improve the world selflessly, than millions of mediocres who just like to argue or follow trends.

    You articulate something that has been gnawing at the back of my mind in a vague manner: a site should not be dependent on social media.

    You are right. Focus on quality content, interacting with readers and other bloggers/Twitterers, and let nature take its course.

  • http://www.funrises.com/ camelia

    I couldnt figure untill now how StumbleUpon works to submit my comedy site!

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  • http://www.livingtribal.com Neil

    Bummer. And this was a good idea I was about to go and copy!

    Thanks for being one of the good guys sharing knowledge, even though it had a negative impact on your own website performance.