Hipster Reveal: I never liked StumbleUpon.
In the interest of fair and honest reporting, I should state right up front that I was never really a fan of StumbleUpon in the first place. I mean, I wasn’t in full-on hate mode or anything; it just wasn’t my bag, baby. I have a difficult enough time keeping up with material I actually *want* to read. I don’t need additional discovery engines pointing out more shit I’m missing.
We interrupt this broadcast to share an important message.
I ALREADY KNOW YOU’RE INFINITE AND THAT I WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO READ ALL OF YOU. STOP THROWING MORE SHIT MY DIRECTION AND SMIRKING ABOUT HOW, UNLIKE POKEMON, I ACTUALLY CAN’T CATCH ‘EM ALL.
Don’t cry, StumbleUpon; you aren’t alone.
Honestly, I feel the same way toward Pinterest, Instagram, and LinkedIn. I just cannot possibly add extra platforms to my already over-stuffed plate. The Internet is like an infinite buffet, with a plethora of choices, and everyone is clamoring to fit ALL the choices on one small dish. But rather than only taking maybe two bites of each item, I’m going to concentrate on huge, choke-inducing bites of the three items with which I am most familiar and comfortable: Twitter, Facebook, and Triberr. Oh, and okay, email. Oh, and also my bloggy-blog. So just those things.
This is also quite convenient on a personal level, because I am not really a visual person and remain somewhat unmoved by pictures of kittens hanging from branches. I’m not a cold-hearted bitch, but I just don’t… get it.
WTF is StumbleUpon, anyway?
StumbleUpon is supposed to be this awesome tool that allows users to rate web pages and share them with other users. Kind of like Facebook, actually, but NOT like Facebook because there’s no chatting going on.
“Content that is ‘stumbled upon’ is informed by user’s stated preferences, the thumbs up and down of their friends, and demographic information, among other factors the company does not fully disclose.” ~ Wikipedia
I tried it out for about three weeks, but found that most of the crap that gets shared is… well… crap. Almost nothing of interest to me, and certainly nothing I would want to pass on to others. I gave out an awful lot of the “thumbs-down” ratings. Maybe I was using it incorrectly, but the bottom line is, I wasn’t interested enough to find out.
StumbleUpon snuck up and drew me in.
Sometime last summer, StumbleUpon announced a contest — a WRITING contest! And I thought to myself, “Self, you should try this competition thing here.” My hubz added his two cents, encouraging me to give it a shot.
So I did. I submitted a piece I wasn’t too ashamed to display in public, and it got pretty decent feedback. But wait. I’m getting ahead of myself. Prior to the decent feedback there were a bunch of confusing emails. Confirming my entry took at least three exchanges. Getting my entry posted prompted another lengthy dialogue. After announcing the start date to everyone, the start date was then extended due to technical difficulties. But not everyone got the memo right away.
I got pretty excited, because my story was in the Top Ten, which was quite fabulous as the Top Ten would get passed on to the next round of judging. Hoorayz for me!
Not so fast with the cheering, Andi-Roo!
About two weeks into the competition — after I’d managed to garner lots of votes from family and friends and Tweeties and Tribemates and other online pals, not to mention some newfound fans — I received an email indicating that the contest was starting over.
Wait. Wait a minute. Wait. WHAT?
But yeah. They did. StumbleUpon started the contest over again. Because, they said, they hadn’t actually posted all of the entries. CLASS ACT. Except I didn’t get that memo at first. Because, they said, only one person was running the whole damn thing and s/he was overwhelmed. It was a fucking mess, is what it was.
Finally, the contest got back underway. I think most of the people who had voted for me the first time around came back and did it again (because they rock). I remained in the Top Ten (because *I* rock), but was much less enthusiastic this go-around. The do-over kind of killed my excitement, you know? But whatever.
The end of the first round came and went.
I didn’t get any kind of confirmation that my piece was moving on to the next round. So I emailed the person running the contest. No dice. I contacted the judges via Twitter to find out what the hellz was going on. And… apparently StumbleUpon had pushed back the final voting date. Again, I had missed a memo. Fuck me.
I forgot to keep caring.
By the time the new final voting date came to pass, I was so over the contest that I didn’t even notice until a week later that we had moved into the second round. And that’s because, again, I was never notified that the second round had begun. I haven’t received anything from StumbleUpon regarding the contest, so I’m guessing I DIDN’T WIN, which is fine. But… I’d like to know how I placed. Like, did I make it to the Top Five? That would be cool. I guess I’ll never know.
Because I’ll be goddamned if I contact them again for ANYTHING.
My hubz wrote a post about StumbleUpon on this here bloggy-blog, which wasn’t entirely uncomplimentary. It was more like, how to use it most effectively, or something like that. I didn’t really read it that closely, because by then I was severely ticked and not in the mood. But I know he wasn’t rude at them or anything.
Shortly thereafter, he had to contact StumbleUpon with a question about something on his account. I forget what the question was, as it’s kind of boring and irrelevant to this post. It was technical in nature, as I recall. Anyway, the response he received was a super-blast for his “incendiary” piece, and just really quite obnoxious.
That was the day we both decided, “Fuck this StumbleUpon bullshit.”
Seriously. I don’t know if the response came from the owner of the company, or some moron at the bottom of the totem pole, but whoever took it upon himself to be ugly toward a customer made a bad choice. Moreover, I just read here that they laid off 30% of their already too-small staff, so they totally suck major donkey balls.
Somehow, in a very twisted way I can’t quite put my finger on, this sad action validates my low opinion of them. Look, people — it doesn’t have to make sense, okay? Maybe you like StumbleUpon. That’s fine. Feel free to give my shizzle the “thumbs up”.