I have been using StumbleUpon and Digg for a while now. More StumbleUpon than Digg, because of the toolbar. There are many upsides to these services. A few are:
- You get to see the ‘breaking news’ of the internet within minutes instead of hours.
- It is a great way to discover new websites.
- They are quite possibly the quickest way to find new websites when you can’t think of a place to start. They enable you to jump from one site to another, completely unrelated site. They have the advantage over the traditional method of using links to surf the web.
With those advantages come a few disadvantages as well:
- Lost time. Every 10th Stumble is a picture or webpage making fun of the hours wasted just clicking the stumble button, or surfing Digg.
- The sites are often slow or unreachable. The entire thing loses purpose when the Digg/StumbleUpon effect results in either an excruciatingly slow server or just a 404 page.
- Only a small percentage of the sites are actually useful and interesting.
- You quit reading the text. Stumblers are the ultimate ‘look and leave’ websurfers. I personally spend no more than 2 seconds on a page that doesn’t catc my eye immediately or have something i know I want.
Well, that pretty much sums up my view of Digg and StumbleUpon. Note that I will continue using Stumble at least because it is quick, easy, right there, and something to do. I just need to slow down…