Stumbling onto the best … and worst … and most indifferent … of the web

I was just named Time’s Person of the Year. Before you congratulate me (or assume I’m joking) – so were you. For its annual honour, the magazine chose all Internet users. I’m still working on my acceptance speech.

Despite that, and despite the fact that I’ve obviously embraced the Internet as a hobby and partly as a career, I’ve never been much of a web surfer. Nowadays, I generally keep track of my favourite sites through RSS feeds, only regularly visiting those without easy RSS access or whose comments are part of the fun. My favourites evolve gradually, but it tends to take a lot for a new site to enter my consciousness and, more importantly, my news reader.

I still haven’t even really jumped on the YouTube bandwagon, because I don’t have the patience to navigate the site to find the gold hidden in the dross. Friends and my favourite sites are my own personal filter to the madness that is online video, which means I see the videos everyone on the planet has already seen first.

Because of that, or in spite of that, I was happy at the news that StumbleUpon has introduced the new StumbleVideo. The beauty of StumbleUpon is that you can rate the random sites you land on and it learns your tastes in order to refine the sites it shows you. I think it uses magic. Or it compares your tastes to other users’ tastes.

Like the original StumbleUpon for websites, with StumbleVideo you can narrow down the categories you’re most interested in, or stumble across all of them. You’ll still end up sorting through a lot of mind-numbingly bad videos, but a quick thumbs down and stumble can rescue you from boring videos and improve future results.

While my addiction to StumbleVideo is likely to be as brief as my addiction to the original flavour StumbleUpon, for now it opens up a whole new world – but a targeted world – that my relatively small cyberworld wouldn’t normally expose me to. Have you seen the one about Diet Coke and Mentos?

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4 Responses to Stumbling onto the best … and worst … and most indifferent … of the web

  1. Nancy says:

    I was skeptical but tried StumbleVideo anyway, and the first one it showed me was really cool. I can see how it could be majorly addictive! Thanks, I think! 🙂

  2. Cobbly says:

    Well stumble video seems to be better than I expected, but I generally browse alot anyway (that’s what boredem does to you) and so have seen a few of them already. By the way, this is the best Diet Coke and Mentos video –

  3. Sara says:

    I first started reading your blog because of your House reviews. I haven’t enjoyed House as much this season but your blog is my favorite.
    I’ve never been much of a TV fan but will confess I’m addicted to web-surfing. I love RSS feeds and have you set up on my feed:)
    I don’t care for YouTube but have just discovered Stumbleupon. Talk about an addiction! I hope it passes because I really need to get the house cleaned before Christmas:)
    Keep up the good work.
    Happy holidays,
    Where as I enjoy reading blogs, I don’t often post.

  4. Diane Kristine says:

    Thanks Sara, that’s really nice to hear. Good luck with the cleaning – I think I’ve given up, but luckily I’m going away – and happy holidays.

    Oh, and cobbly, that one’s great. I just linked to the one I stumbled on. I’m literal that way. But that one is much, much better.

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