StumbleUpon's brief dalliance with CAPTCHAs

I was shocked to see a CAPTCHA this morning when I stumbled a post not yet in the SU database. StumbleUpon to me was and is the one social network where I hadn’t come across reams of spam or annoying behaviour. The overall experience there has been so smooth and enjoyable that I wondered just how they managed to keep the spammers at bay. Obviously they’re attracting the wrong attention now because this morning I was presented with a CAPTCHA twice when I discovered new content.

Illegible caption on StumbleUpon
Illegible StumbleUpon CAPTCHA

A slightly more readable StumbleUpon CAPTCHA

Those CAPTCHAs look like the one on Matt Haughey’s post. I guess StumbleUpon were using ReCAPTCHA too? Thankfully they stopped and the last post I stumbled (Matt’s post above) had a big empty space where the CAPTCHA had been. Please SU, don’t bring the CAPTCHA back!

Thanks Mark for the link to Matt’s post.


Hellloooo to my new StumbleUpon friends!

After asking people to add me to their StumbleUpon network last November I finally logged in again and added about 20 new friends including Ellybabes as you can see from the graphic below.

Add Ellybabes as a friend

StumbleUpon makes it really easy to add friends and I’m glad to see there are a few more Irish people in my network. I’m looking forward to stumbling on more Irish content and I hope you all enjoyed the sites I discovered in my trawling of the web. Thanks everyone for adding me, and sorry for taking so long to do the same!


Why I think StumbleUpon is better than Digg

Compare the following two graphs taken from Google Analytics.

stumbleUpon traffic
Hits from StumbleUpon
digg traffic spike
Hits from Digg

At first glance, an appearance on looks great! All those lovely hits. 5 times more in a few hours than StumbleUpon sent over a few days. What you don’t see there is the bounce rate. That is the rate at which people visit your site and never come back.
According to Google Analytics, the StumbleUpon bounce rate is 29.94% while a whopping 77.58% of Digg users visit once and leave. I’d rather have the visitor who comes to my site, browses around and then hopefully subscribes.

It’s also easier to gain attention on StumbleUpon and it is likely to continue to send traffic to your site long after your Digg submission disappears into the nether regions of that site never to see the light of day again. That bump on the StumbleUpon graph a few days later was yesterday as people came back into work after the weekend.

In this example, there’s a large difference between the number of visitors Digg and StumbleUpon sent, but StumbleUpon can send you a torrent of traffic too. After I stumbled Grandad’s How to survive your first Guinness post, his site received an extra 16,000 hits plus his subscriber count jumped by a few as people enjoyed what they read.

So, sign up on StumbleUpon and add me as a friend and I’ll pop by for a visit.

Update! Grandad sent me a graph of his traffic over the last month. That big spike is the “StumbleUpon Effect”, but the extra traffic afterwards is more interesting. That’s from his new-found regular readers. Glad I could help!


Stumble upon

Nice! I just noticed that Stumbleupon support by adding the favicon to the SU taskbar.


Of course, it’s not the only way to browse, you can always use the Next link to jump to a random blog. The beauty of Stumbleupon, is that someone recommended the link. I’ve found some interesting blogs including the Doorways Around the World blog which is errr, full of photos of doorways.

Here’s my stumbleupon page. You’ll notice I’ve stumbled some of my own posts. I don’t want to spam my account and stumble everything, but if I’ve spent longer than usual writing some posts, it’s a good way of driving a few extra visitors to those special posts. Stumbleupon is definitely my favourite social bookmarking site. Install the plugin and start stumbling!

PS. I’m not the only one who likes Stumbleupon!