This is a bit off topic for this blog so I’ll keep it short and sweet.
Note: I’m not trying rip on other social sites and take a beat down from their supporters (even though I probably will regardless). I use and enjoy all the sites mentioned in this post. This is merely an expression of personal preference. Different strokes for different folks, or so they say.
1. No News – Or at least none if you aren’t looking for it. The news junkies own Digg and Reddit, where political and tech buzz stories dominate the front page. This is nothing new, but these stories all seem the same to me, and only 1 in 20 brings anything new to the table. I love to Stumble because I don’t have to go past the first page and into subtopics to find something interesting.
2. The Most Democratic Voting Process – While the other sites are dominated by buzz, I’ve found that Stumbling brings me the most quality sites. Because the voting process isn’t contingent on headlines, attention is based on content instead of sensationalism. The result is the cream of the crop rises to the top with less resistance.
3. No Work – No sifting through a page full of headlines trying to decide what to read. StumbleUpon makes it simple by sending you straight to a page it thinks you’ll like. It takes the middle man out, the middle man being your indecision, and the results are impressive. Even if you don’t like a site, a new alternative is a click away.
4. Wonderful Surprises – Does anyone else love the feeling of rolling the dice every time they hit the Stumble button? Nothing is better for finding something you like that you didn’t even know you liked. Whether you want something totally new or information about a specific topic, it leads to new resources that are outside your internet bubble.
Side note: Stumbling “photoshop tutorial” lead to many more quality results than an identical Google search.
5. A Pleasant Community – The Digg or Reddit users might not comment on a site, but they love to leave scathing comments back at the submission. I’m all for constructive disagreement, but from what I’ve seen, most of these people are just bitter. With StumbleUpon, these trolls don’t exist, or least they’re kept out of sight.
So there you have it. If you don’t already, you should start Stumbling. If you already do, then you know what I’m talking about.
Edit: I couldn’t resist adding this quick tip after it came to mind. It’s really simple, and a lot of you probably do it already, but I’ve found that using StumbleUpon in conjunction with del.icio.us is a great way to save your favorite stumbles and return to them later. Whenever I want to build a collection of resources, for say Photoshop or WordPress, I just stumble those keywords and use del.icio.us to tag all the best finds. This is the easiest way to build a great collection of resources. You have to love it when separate tools work together.