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How Come StumbleUpon Isn’t Working for ME?

I have been asked this question on more than one occasion, and in true “Old School” fashion, rather than answering everyone individually, I like to take the opportunity to create a blog post to answer the question.

First, lets talk about your goals. If your goal is to just promote your website on website, then you have failed to understand the purpose of Social Networking. Social networking is the equivalent to offline networking; with the exception that it can be done from your computer. Your goal “should” be to meet people in your industry and people that share your common interests in en effort to mutually benefit one another.

So How Does One Get Started?
It’s pretty simple actually. Build a profile – a REAL profile. There has been lots of talk in the blogosphere lately about people who use fake pictures on their profiles. That’s no different than meeting someone in the real world and giving them a fake name – it’s bogus and it doesn’t fly online either. Would you introduce yourself as a “Trump”, “Bush” or “Rockefeller” in real life, just so people would think you are important? If your answer is yes, I will have my wife call you – she is a THERAPIST. The right is answer is NO, it’s not acceptable behavior. The same goes online. If you aren’t willing to divulge who you are online, then Social Networking isn’t for you.

Secondly, reach out and make some friends. You can search by topic, but the best way I have found is by viewing peoples Stumble Upon profile as listed on their blog, or viewing the profiles of those who like the same articles as I do on Stumble Upon.

What if it Doesn’t Work?
My guess is that you are guilty of one of the following:

1. You are primarily promoting your own website. That’s the equivalent to going to a party and just handing people your business card and walking away without showing interest in them or what they do. You will get the same reponse online – not much.

2. You are a “waver”. You may just thumb up other people’s websites and never review them. That’s the guy or gal who goes to a party and just waves at every body without ever talking to them. No one gets to know them, and therefore no one ever refers anyone to them.

3. You are networked with the wrong people. If you have friended people that are interested in nothing you are interested in, they won’t care about your website or anything you send them. If they haven’t logged in for a month or so, they don’t know you exist. That’s like being friends with the guy that never shows up at a party. People start to think you have imaginary friends. Or if you see a “silhouette” where they once had a picture, they could be under investigation for allegedly breaking one of Stumble Upon’s rules/

4. Your profile seems like it’s a fraud.
I have had people “friend” me and when I look at their profile it look like a knock out of a woman, and then the description says it’s a guy. Well, cross dressers aren’t on my list of related or interested topics, but that’s not even what it’s about. It’s a lame attempt for someone to try and lure me into becoming an “Stumble Upon Friend” by using sex. Sorry – it doesn’t work. Perhaps if I were single, or just trying to find parties it might work, but for me, Stumble Upon is about building professional relationships, sharing quality content, and finding new and interesting sites, blogs, and news stories.

5. You aren’t making the transition away from Stumble Upon. Social Networking is like online dating; if all you do is chat online, you’ll never go out with anyone. Make it clear what you are looking for from those you are networked with – ask for the order. Send someone an offline email (what – give a stranger my email address?). If they are strangers, then you haven’t built an online relationship with them. Even better, set up a phone call with someone to talk about business.

I hope that helps. Feedback and comments are welcomed.

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8 Responses to “How Come StumbleUpon Isn’t Working for ME?”

  • Thank you for taking some of the confusion out this confusing arena. There is a some very good information in this post.

  • Although you bring up some goof point, it’s always nice to hear a dissenting opinion. Giving your name, picture and pretty much all your information away to every social media site is just plain stupid. Take it from someone who had a picture of themselves taken off ebay about page, and posted into forums by some jerk ebayer as a “rapist” (due to some item not being received because Pony mailbox employees ripped the items off. So… just posting everything up for the world to do with as they will, well you must carefully weight out privacy issues, of which we don’t have much left against the benefits.

  • Tinu:

    @Steve – you take that risk in business, period. If you’re going to take the risk, it might as well be for something that is going to benefit you.

    Having said that, I dig this article, and reviewed it, but I’d like to see someone write a detailed account of what the difference is between the “gaming” of the system of SU, and using it for self-promotion, which clearly is Not prohibited.

  • oldschool:

    @ Steve – I agree with Tinu. If someone is out ot get you, it doesn’t matter how many or how few sites you are on. In fact, if you look at people like Bill Gates, he is constantly attacked online and his business continues to grow in spite of it.

    @ Tinu. You mean I have to write another blog post? :-) I will gladly take you up on it. More to follow.

  • Tinu:

    Awesome. :) I’d say I should write it but I’m enjoying my “retirement” by not writing *anything* important for a few days. Tell me when it’s up so I can share it with all my friends.

  • oldschool:

    Enjoy your time off. I haven’t been blogging much lately because I am trying to finish updating my book – among other things – but I will let you know when I get to posting it. I hope the content is worth the anticipation :-)

  • Tinu:

    yay. :) I bet it will be.

  • web design company:

    some good solid SU advice. It all makes sense

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