What If I Stumble? What If I Fall?

(Warning – this item contains the word ‘paradigm’. You have been warned.)
I don’t normally jump on Internet bandwagons this quickly, but I think this hayride is well overdue. I’ve been playing with this thing for a while, and I think the ‘StumbleUpon‘ folks are onto a winner. Here’s why.
I’ve really enjoyed using my Launchcast radio station (since introducing it a while back), mainly because it responds quite well to my listening habits. When you hear a song, if you like it, you click a button and then you’ll hear more songs like it, or (and this is the good bit) more songs suggested by people who like similar music to you. It’s that second bit I find the most intriguing – the idea that you’re not whittling your choices down, but expanding them based on the world-wide experiences of People Just Like Us. It’s the basic concept of the hugely successful Amazon.com, and well outside the paradigm of ‘non-net’ businesses and communities. It’s fascinating.
That’s why I think ‘StumbleUpon‘ is on a winner. It’s not just a links list with an ‘add’ button. It actually suggests websites for you to look at, based on your previous rankings, and (wait for it) based on the experiences of people who’ve ranked things similarly to you.
In fiddling about with it today, I found quite a few sites which were interesting, and even a few I’d forgotten to specifically look for at some time in the past (like the ‘pen-spinning’ site – man, I wish I knew how to do that. It’d look so cool in meetings.)
It’s a more organic version of BONWAG – normally, I see a site, and if I like it, I dump it in a bucket here for posterity. With StumbleUpon, it’s more of an organic, growing, unpredictable process. You (figuratively) stumble over stuff which other people throw in your path.
If you’re a more-than casual surfer, I’d recommend giving it a try. I’ve seen other versions of this idea in the past, but I believe the concept, and the simple execution, mean this’ll be around for a while. While you’re there, look me up (under bonwag, of course) and we can compare site lists. Make sure you give BONWAG a good ranking.
And watch your step!

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