It’s almost exactly a year since StumbleUpon announced the changes that killed it.
I remember the outpourings of disbelief and grief that ricocheted around the world as people finally began to believe the rumours - and the people who started them.
I was an early critic of the way SU was deteriorating, and I saw the writing on the wall a lot sooner than most, so I was (in some ways) better prepared for the end of SU as we knew it. Being forewarned bought me no joy, though.
As SU went downhill, people desperately hoped that appeals and protests would change the outcome. With all the best intentions in the world, no amount of user dissatisfaction was ever going to make any difference. Staff members at SU no longer cared about individual stumblers, nor did they want to encourage any kind of community participation. The people who built the database, the contributors and the curators had become too expensive to cater to; and so the blogging aspects and the personal interactions were decimated.
I have no idea just how many people lost their connections and their online social lives as a result of the demise of SU. Some made the switch to other blogging platforms, but some were so discouraged that they just gave up. There are a handful people I’ve kept in contact with, and for that I’m grateful. There are some I loved dearly who have disappeared without a trace, and I miss them very much.
There’s no equivalent to SU anywhere else now, because the internet is a much bigger and much less personal place than it was in those halcyon days. Even the stumblers we all loved to hate, at least had some personality and individuality. They might have been bitches and assholes, but at least they were entertaining!
That’s something sadly lacking on other platforms, where all I see is endless ‘likes’, ‘reblogs’, ‘reposts’ ‘repins’ and recycling…and not much by way of personal comment or opinion.
Intellectually, I am aware that StumbleUpon still exists. The only evidence I have (because I haven’t used it for nearly a year) is that this tumblog gets regular visits from Stumbleupon in S.F. Other than that, StumbleUpon doesn’t rate as a web presence.
Physically, it ceased to be part of my life when I deleted my account at the end of last year.
Emotionally, I miss it. I think I always will.
It’s funny, one of those funny you had to be there, but at the same time not funny ha ha kind of funny things.
SU was the internet for me, beyond that is errr who, what, where, how, googlings, it was what the internet was for. I didn’t install a browser, that’s FireFox, without installing the SU toolbar. Until around about a year ago that is.
The stumble button meant I saw cool before it became cool, heck I still see stuff/images/memes on Facebook that I first saw years ago through SU. Then the content changed, IMO directly linked to Stumbleupon making Blogging harder, and de-emphasising the Social Network/Friends aspect. The surge in Spammers coincided with this, and was helped by it. It became harder to find & follow users who were contributing quality content. At the same time those Users began to trickle away, dispirited by the depreciation of blogging and the social networking. Tumblr was still only a couple of years old, but the exodus began, one which gained pace dramatically with the next to last SU version, two years ago. Many Stumblers found a place on Tumblr.
I still have my account, I occasionally receive shares, but rarely if ever press that button.
Okay SU one more time. Click - Confused.com, unemployment map, Okay. No comments associated with this page. No interest, no passion. Click - Carbon neutral street, news article - Okay, again no comments. No personal angle by the submitter. Click. Ack a tired Meme. OMG a comment = complaint about this being a decade old meme.
Have you guys heard about SU trying to recruit secret council members? It’s like a cult!
Ok, it isn’t secret (or maybe it is, IDK, that isn’t the point), it’s also not at all cult like but I bet I have your attention!!
There are people discussing the matter on GetSatisfaction if you are down for some reading.
There are some pretty strong opinions floating around, perhaps this is the last of the issues many of us will even care to speculate on.
I just scanned the page. On the one hand I felt the warm glow of nostalgia, because I know - in an internet remote via the keyboard and the screen - mostly everyone there.
I ‘met’ them through SU, we’ve chatted, sometimes agreed, disagreed, and shared squirrels. And again most are here on Tumblr.
Back when SU pulled back from supporting blogging, we conversed, asking where is the new great content going to come from if SU doesn’t support the core users who discover - that is add the good stuff to the database.
Mostly it seems they switched their energies to Tumblr, or so it seems.
Very well said. I told the friend that turned me onto Tumblr, it’s like they took the market that they owned, owned, and just handed it to Tumblr and a few others and said “Here, we aren’t interested in making money from these fuckhead photo bloggers. If you’ll take ‘em off our hands we’ll blow you.” There was a time I couldn’t imagine the web without SU.
That is absolutely what they did, the last version update sent people to tumblr in DROVES. SU supports that, they think tumblr is great and I have heard 3 staff members offer blogging on tumblr as a solution to the lack of blogging features SU provides. They have NO idea how addicting tumblr is, that it will easily consume the online time of it’s bloggers fully. They really think people are going to click the stumble button and get old content when they could scroll their dash for new stuff? Believe me, if *I* can be converted from full time Stumbler to full time Tumblr… well lets just say, I don’t think SU is looking at the big picture.
This. I didn’t appreciate how much the blogging which created community was part of why stumbled. I rarely hit the button, and I haven’t submitted new content in a long time.
Q:Hey Charles! Like what you've done with your Tumbir blog (I don't have much patience for it myself, I stick mostly to StumbleUpon and goof around with delicious and Sitemark social bookmarks). Still working my way through Dragons Unleashed. Gotta print it out soon, so I can read it properly and stop losing my place! Like what I've read so far (the part about ice dragons, fire dragons, dragons of the air was interesting)! Like the character work as well. Hope all is well.
The reason why I Tumblr and why I put more effort into my blog/blogging here is that Stumbleupon doesn’t support it. I guess SU sees it’s raison de etre to get people clicking and submitting. Of course I now do a lot less of both because blogging is viewed as side activity to the point of being discouraged - so I don’t feel as invested in Stumbling as I once did, because Stumble blogs were an important part of the experience for me. It was about creating something lasting with those discoveries, rather than just amassing thousands of clicks. Tumblr of course enables me to be creative.
I’m glad you’re enjoying Dragons Unleashed. Like any good guest on any chat show I should plug it - again - by saying it’s available on Kindle for $0.99 / £0.69 as well as a print version. Kindle isn’t just the e-reader, it also a program available to download free for PC and as an app for smart phones.
Dragons in Dragons Unleashed. My monsters are different. In this story - and I know you’ll appreciate this, are more like UFO’s.
This is quite deliberate. In days of yore people reported seeing flying sailing ships, or chariots of fire and of course Dragons.
It’s fair to say cultural knowledge affects how people interpret the unexplained.
The other mythological input into Dragons in this story is the literal translation of the Hebrew word in the bible Seraphim - the highest rank of angel, as “Fiery Flying Serpent”
So to make my Dragons different they are more like the primal angels of the bible, that is to say elemental ( hence “ice dragons, fire dragons, dragons of the air” and earth ) with animal like qualities, a fusion of Western and Eastern traditions, which are not in many interesting ways so different - rather than the more usual great big terrible Lizard.
In the ‘magic’ side of the story I wanted to include the fantastic but make it easier to suspend disbelief.