Is Facebook Bleeding Out StumbleUpon?


With just shy of 4 million users, StumbleUpon easily remains my personal social community software favorite for sheer elegance, maturity of the community, lack of grubby noise,  useful tools, and delightfully idiosyncratic character. Still SU lacks mainstream appeal as many folks, just delving into social media, have never even heard of it. Incredibly, it seems many are leaving StumbleUpon for Facebook. Bummer…

Flavor of the Year
Facebook is all the front and center mainstream rage, it’s hot in the media, on 50 million users’ lips, and embroiled in controversy for auctioning off the “social graph” of peoples’ lives. Microsoft’s massive cash infusion suggests that Facebook is actually a harbinger of web 3.0′ targeted ad platforms. I wouldn’t sell your Google stock yet. Facebook is noisy as hell and there is already rattling rage regarding potentially litigious backlash for privacy related concerns.

Where’s All My SU Mail?
My analysis is not scientific. I just know that my SU friends now take days instead of hours to return SU contact form emails. The same friends return Facebook email the same day. The volume of bookmarking seems to be reduced in our SU community as well.

All of us only have SO much time each day and tend to focus on sending and receiving communications from email + one or 2 communities. I used to get 6-10 emails a day in SU. Now those same good friends communicate with me through Facebook.

Who Needs All That FB Fluff?
Look, Facebook is cool. AIMCLEAR and our nasty marketing pals look forward to helping wreck it by marketing to the social graph with stealthy media buys. That said, I don’t need zombies bighting me, cyber-kisses,  or $1 gifts, to know when some person I barely know is twittering hamburgers or keeping score of food throwing. That’s what our clients’ Facebook victims are for.

Gotta Do What Ya’ Gotta Do
I spend time on Facebook because it’s required reading these days for anyone who sells social media marketing and it’s important to understand if not master the FB operating system. We’ve already driven prodigal amounts of traffic to our clients’ sites and harvested many links from Facebook networking. We appreciate it’s viral brilliance, huge penetration, and cool tools. It’s great for organizing photos.

However, personally I love StumbleUpon. Most of the lifelong-variety of social media friends I’ve made are from SU. It’s easy to find people of like mind, approach them, and get to know each other based on interests and inclinations. SU feels safe and not like a meat market. True, StumbleUpon sports a simpler closed-loop environment and is not as technologically advanced. In this case simple is good. Here’s to my hope that Facebook does not kill SU.

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