Home StumbleUpon’s Explore Box Helps Guide Your Web Wandering

StumbleUpon’s Explore Box Helps Guide Your Web Wandering

Serendipitous discovery engine StumbleUpon has just launched an Explore Box on its Web version, which allows users to find topics to explore by typing them in. StumbleUpon delivers a new website or video with one click of a button, and it uses a deep list of topic tags, or ‘interests,’ to keep track of the kinds of content users like. The best way to fine-tune one’s StumbleUpon results is by manually subscribing to a bunch of interests first. The Explore Box allows users to filter results in new ways on the spot.

There’s no Explore Box on StumbleUpon’s celebrated iOS and Android apps yet, but StumbleUpon is even more powerful on the desktop browser where it began. For a service that magically delivers new content with one click, a search box might sound like too much work, but it’s not. The Explore Boxis just a starting point for stumbling upon a specific topic, and in a way, it’s just as magical. Under the results of a query, the box displays some more topics “you might also like.” Hey, why not? See what happens. *click*

Ordinarily, when you click the “Stumble” button, StumbleUpon will deliver a result from anywhere in your interests, unless you first narrow them down from the menu in the browsing toolbar. For example, if you click “Space Exploration,” StumbleUpon will only show you results from that category until you say otherwise. That can be a lot of filters to choose from, and the full menu is so comprehensive, it’s likely there’s a great topic in there that a user might want but just hasn’t found yet. The Explore Box solves that problem by suggesting new interests as you type in a query.

There’s no one-click way to add a topic from the Explore Box to your saved list of interests, which would be a great way to use it to expand one’s Web palette. But the selected tag does appear in the interest box on the StumbleUpon toolbar, and logged-in users can get to the control panel for editing interests from there. The Explore Box itself is now displayed in the Interests menu on the toolbar, as well as on the profile settings page for editing interests.

StumbleUpon is the reverse of the process of finding Web content by searching for it. The user just defines the parameters, clicks the big button, sees something new, and develops an interest profile over time by up-voting and down-voting results. These votes further tune the results StumbleUpon delivers. It’s an endlessly fun way to explore the Web for users, and it has also been a powerful tool for publishers.

StumbleUpon’s impact on traffic can be enormous, and since visitors come to the content because of their existing interest in the topic, the quality is high, too. Its social features enable following of and sharing with other users, as well as sharing via other social media, so good content spreads fast. The new Explore Box should make it even faster for users to find the exact thing they didn’t know they were looking for.

Check it out at stumbleupon.com/explore.

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