Tuesday, May 1, 2007

StumbleUpon

StumbleuponStumbleUpon is a web browser plugin that allows its users to discover and rate webpages, photos, videos, and news articles. These webpages are typically presented when the user clicks the Stumble button on the browser's toolbar. StumbleUpon chooses which new webpage to display based on the user's ratings of previous pages, ratings by his/her friends, and by the ratings of users with similar interests. i.e. it is a recommendation system which uses peer and social networking principles. There is also one-click blogging built in as well. Users can rate, or choose not to rate, any webpage with a thumbs up or thumbs down, and clicking the Stumble button resembles “channel-surfing” the web. Toolbar versions exist for Firefox, Mozilla Application Suite and Internet Explorer.

Launched in 2002 by three 20-somethings in a Calgary, Alberta, apartment, StumbleUpon now has 2 million registered users drawn by its knack for finding websites that match their interests and those of others with similar tastes as they “stumble” around the Net.

Co-founder Garrett Camp came up with the idea as he was working on a master's in software engineering.

In the same way that it matches users with like-minded websites, StumbleUpon's technology also pairs online ads with targeted demographics and interests. Now StumbleUpon is attempting to do the same for online video and video advertising. In December the startup launched StumbleVideo, a service that offers the closest thing to channelsurfing that you'll find on the Web.

  • Funding: $1.5 million (Ron Conway, Mitch Kapor, Josh Kopelman, Brad O'Neill, Ram Shriram)
  • Headquarters: San Francisco
  • Employees: 12
  • Founded: 2001
  • Business model: Advertising, subscriptions
  • Next up: New features like content controls and mobile video recommendations

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