StumbleUpon & Its Friend Features

Recently I have become for a better word – addicted to StumbleUpon. I cant count the number of laughs and really informative sites about Web Analytics, CSS, and so on that I have found since I started using it more often.

One problem I have come across while using it more was a lack of diversity in the people I followed and was friends with – I keep seeing the same type of photos and articles. Reading what is basically the same article on 4 different sites a day just doesnt do it for me.

This problem lead me to dig deeper and use the relatively new followers/friends feature. I have to admit – I love it. It has helped me expand the number of people I follow and keeps the great sites coming.

That being said, I have noticed two things about the friends and their friend recommendation engine that could use some tweaking.

Meet New Friends

Meet new friends - StumbleUpon

If you look at the pretty image (I suck at Photoshop, sorry), you can see two issues already. I am pretty sure that every time I load this page and see this feature I see at least one avatar that I know is on my friends list. I mean, I dont have THAT many friends so why is it so hard to show me new people? My other complaint with this feature is that it will show me someone that has a whopping total of 35 stumbles. How do I know based on 35 stumbles if they will brighten up my day or help me learn stuff that I never imagined? If I have 3000 stumbles, how about you show me people with at least 10% that number? That seems fair to me. What do you think?

Ignore Friend Request

Ignore Friend Request - StumbleUpon

The next feature that I think should be tweaked is the “Ignore a Friend Request”. Its a bit harsh to have to say yes or no to a request knowing that “You will not receive future friendship notifications from people you ignored. “. I may not know the person or like their stumbles at that moment but people can change cant they? Again, if someone with 15 or 50 or even 10000 stumbles friends me, I have to say yes or no. Why does no mean no forever. How about a 30 day time frame or so?

Imagine you are a new user and have a few stumbles and are trying to figure the whole StumbleUpon thing out. You stumble here and there and you see this nifty “Meet people like you” area and start clicking. You follow a few and you friend a few of them. If you are like me, you will say yes, no and just wait on others (or maybe you always say no/yes). The user thinks nothing of it and a few months down the line goes looking for interesting people and finds you again, then what? Actually, I dont know what happens. I havent been able to test this due to not knowing who has turned me down, so if someone knows exactly what you see, please let me know. :)

So that’s all I got. I finally blog and its to whine/complain – figures eh? To those working on SU – thanks for your work and I look forward to spending many more hours using your addictive site.

12 Ways Social Networks are like High School

I got the idea for this post after reading how Drug dealers and software developers were similar. As I do come from a web developer background – I found it quite amusing (and quite sad at the end) and wondered if I could do the same for Social Media.

Below is my feeble attempt to compare High School and Social Networks – enjoy.

High School Social Networks
1.Wanting to be the Prom King/Queen 1.He/she with the most friends is cool
2.Telling everyone that you are great friends with the “plastics” and other “cool” kids 2.Adding all of the “Alist” personalities to your friends list
3.Leaving post it notes in or on lockers 3.Leaving comments and notes on someone’s profile
4.Joining an after hours school club 4.Having “meetups” that revolve around your favorite network/app
5.Liking that exchange student so much you take the language class that they speak 5.Liking some application that you create a mashup using APIs in some programming language you don’t know
6.Writing for your High School newspaper 6.Starting a site to cover everything in the world about Social Networks, the sites, the apps and everything else
7.Being a part of the school’s AV Club 7.Knowing how all the new apps work and trying to explain them to everyone
8.Getting kicked out of school 8.Getting banned from a network
9.Showing off or talking about your new car/phone/gadget 9.Always asking for or talking about invites to the new beta
10.Having mommy and daddy buy you something better than the other gloating kids 10.Showing off your alpha invite via your blog
11.Getting your friends together and tping the school 11.Getting your friends together for a DoS against some network/site/app
12.Hooking up with the Prom Queen or King 12.Damn – got me there. :(

If there are any that just plain out suck – let me know. If you can think of any others that fit, feel free to add them via commenting.

I also have to apologize for breaking down and having a “X things you can do” or “X ways to do X” post title. It was bound to happen eventually I guess.

UPDATE

I was just reading this post again and it hit me – what #12 could be:

12. Hooking up with the Prom Queen or King = 12. Getting bought by Google, Yahoo or some other huge company