9 things wrong with StumbleUpon
Thursday, 23 August 2007 — by Wayne Smallman
So I thought to myself: now that I know 5 good reasons why StumbleUpon is pretty good, maybe there’s some stuff they’ve got wrong? And like most Social Networks out there, StumbleUpon isn’t flawless…
The problems with StumbleUpon aren’t too deeply ingrained or self-defeating, like those 17 things wrong with Google’s Blogger.
I tend to fling myself around the web, looking for the best Social Networks. So after many near misses, I signed up to StumbleUpon on May 19, 2007.
And I still have to wonder why I didn’t join earlier. But if I really must have a moan or 9…
9 things wrong with StumbleUpon
1. So we have comma-delimited Tags, but then if you add in a Tag made up of more than one world, the tag becomes hyphenated. Sort of like del.icio.us Tags, only marginally better. Either the Tags are comma-delimited or they’re hyphenated. Having both doesn’t seem to make sense.
2. Are they Groups, or are they Forums? Well, from the look of things, they’re neither. In fact, they’re more like ‘blogs. If they’re intended to be like forums, then they have a lot of features missing. Anyone who’s on the likes of SitePoint forums, Digital Point forums, or even SlashDot know what forums should look like.
For example, there’s no pin posts, you can’t reply to a post, there’s no proper threading and no WYSIWYG editing. All of which are staple features of any fora. The weird thing is, WYSIWYG editing is to be found elsewhere within StumbleUpon, but just not in the forums.
3. So I’ve clicked the People tab and I see a bunch of people listed with those geographically the closest first in descending order. Now what? Surely there are more people? But where are they?
I’m pretty sure there are, but there’s no pagination, so I’ll never know. The same happens when you click on the: “Browse people” from your Profile page. There’s no option to view more.
4. Where’s the preview option for emails? Where’s the preview option for anything, for that matter? Since there’s no global WYSIWYG editing, you have to type in links as HTML within the message. And if you get your code wrong, you’re stuck.
5. How do I see how many people have voted for something I’ve submitted to StumbleUpon? I can see the Reviews, but I’d like to know the number of thumbs up and thumbs down those articles get.
I did ask about this, but the the short answer is, there’s just no way to know. I suspect that such features are reserved for the paid-for StumbleUpon Ads service.
For those like me who probably won’t run a serious-minded advertising campaign on StumbleUpon, but do like to keep a track on what succeeds and what doesn’t, this is a real bind.
6. Why tell me how many recent Visitors I’ve had if I can only see the last 10? Why can’t I see the full list of most recent Visitors? Sometimes, I like to thank them, or go see what they’re up to. But because the 11th visitor onwards is out of the list, I’m out of luck.
7. The weird character encoding often seen in titles that include apostrophes, double angled quotes et cetera. A minor issue, some might argue, but it’s just intensely annoying and makes titles almost illegible. Annoyingly, there’s no option to edit the title after submitting.
8. I’m probably singling out StumbleUpon a little unfairly here, because others make the same amazingly annoying mistake. From inside Preferences, there’s the Country option. Why can’t I see England in that list? I assume UK is the option I’m supposed to choose. Sadly, there is no such Country as UK.
I’m not UKese, I’m English and I want to choose England as my Country because that’s the country I’m from.
9. Pictures of ‘cute’ cats. To be banned with immediate effect. Not strictly a problem with StumbleUpon, but lamentable none the less.
And finally, as fellow SUer Kate pointed out in a late night Skype chat: there’s no such thing as the perfect system.
And by extension, there’s no such thing as a perfect Social Network. But with the likes of StumbleUpon around, we’re getting closer…
- 5 essential StumbleUpon power points
- 17 things wrong with Google Blogger
- Tags versus Labels versus Categories