I probably spend too much time using stumbleupon, but, because I use it quite a lot I want it to give the best results. Therefore I frequently vote both up or down. By voting both ways you can help stumbleupon send the pages that you like. Voting down doesn’t mean the site or article is necessarily bad; it just means you would rather stumble different kinds of pages. If you don’t vote down pages you will keep seeing similar pages. Note: I never write negative reviews because I don’t see the point. One thing I like about stumbleupon is that, in my experience, it has a lot less negativity than other social bookmarking sites.
Since I spend a lot of time voting up and voting down, I would like to share common reasons why I vote down.
1. Where’s the Content?
Quite often I stumble a page and I can’t see anything useful. Often there is just an introduction and perhaps a link to articles. But, if the article is elsewhere, why not stumble that page? I want to see the useful page, not an introduction or ‘welcome page’
2. Too Many Ads.
I am not opposed to ads (I have them on my own site). But, if there are too many banners and google ads, it is much more likely I will vote you down. Like most stumble users, I am lazy and give a high weighting to the content above the fold. If 70% of your content above the fold is ads, there is a much higher chance of getting thumbed down.
3. Weak design.
We are told ‘content is king’ but actually, this is only half the story. When stumbling I often decide in a few seconds. If the design is bad, weak or unprofessional, it is much more likely that I will vote an article a day. Perhaps this is unfair, perhaps I should ignore the content and read carefully. But, experience suggests there is often a correlation between design and quality of content. If the design is weak, I assume the content is more likely to be weak. However, I should also say, that some of the best stumble pages are completely basic and seem to have no CSS at all. However, these pages usually have the content right at the top; in other words the lack of design makes you focus on the content which is good. Bad design is often ugly, too many jarring colours and distracts from the content.
4. Blog Carnivals.
I often submit to blog carnivals and I can understand why people stumble them. This is an example of a good blog carnival because the blogger has taken the time to write intelligently about each entry. However, if a blog carnival is just a long list of 100 entries with no explanation, I often vote them down. I would rather have a stumble showing a selected article.
- BTW: I really don’t know why people bother trying to submit blog carnivals to digg. Digg is never going to have blog carnivals on the home page. It is just a waste of time.
5. Poor Content.
Sometimes the content is just poor and not interesting. Other times it lacks focus and seems to be only of interest to the blogger.
6. Too slow to Load
If a page is too slow to load, then I will either click on stumble again, or even mark it down. True, it might be good, but it has the same chance of being good as the next stumble, so I will always prefer a page which is quicker to load.
7. Self Promotion.
Some pages have a heavy degree of self promotion; they are articles geared towards getting people to buy their latest product; rightly or wrongly I tend to be suspicious of these article. Note: to people who pay for stumbles, it really is a waste of time paying for stumbles to ‘commercial landing pages’ You are better off paying for stumbles to useful pages related to your product.
8. Stumble Cards
I have never understood the purpose of these. I have consistently voted them down. If I want to play top trumps, I will get a pack of cards and play with my 13 year old cousin.
9. Why Not Stop stumbling and get back to Work?
The first time I saw this, I smiled, felt guilty and stopped stumbling. But, I’ve seen it too many times and don’t want to be reminded of my time wasting.
10. Music Playing without Choice
This is annoying, especially when you’re trying to stumble whilst you are supposed to be working.
What makes you vote down on stumbleupon? Do you use the vote down feature?